Welcome to an online Beginners' German course designed by Paul Joyce of the University of Portsmouth. It currently contains twelve chapters of dialogue and exercises which have been designed to give the absolute beginner a grounding in the rudiments of the German language, as well as providing background information about life and culture in the Germanspeaking countries.

German Course Chapter index

Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapter 6

Chapter 7 Chapter 8 Chapter 9 Chapter 10 Chapter 11 Chapter 12

1.1 Saying hello
Vocabulary 1: Saying Hello Formally

"Guten Morgen!" ("Good Morning!") "Guten Tag!" ("Hello!" (literally "Good day!")) "Guten Abend!" ("Good evening!") 1. German speakers say "Hello!" in a number of ways. This partly depends on the time of day:
• •

"Guten Morgen!" is said until about 10 a.m. "Guten Tag!" is said from about 10 a.m. to 5 or 6 p.m. (There is no equivalent phrase for "Good afternoon!" in German.)

"Guten Abend!" is said after 5 p.m.

All of these greetings are used in formal situations when we might say "How do you do" in English, or when meeting people we don't know particularly well. When you expect or are hoping for service, it could be interpreted as impolite not to say "Guten Tag!" as an opener. 2. In informal situations however - amongst family, friends or young people -, the above greetings are often shortened or other greetings are used:
Vocabulary 2: Saying Hello Informally

"Hallo!" ("Hello!") "Hi!" ("Hi!") "Tag!" ("Hello!")

"Hallihallo!" ("Hello!") "Morgen!" ("Morning!") " 'n Abend!" ("Evening!")

3. Your greeting will also depend on your geographical location. In South Germany and Austria, you'll often hear "Grüß Gott!" or "Servus!" in daylight hours, whilst in Switzerland you'll hear "Grüezi":
Vocabulary 3: Saying Hello Regionally

"Grüß Gott!" ("Hello!" ("May God greet you!")) "Grüß dich!" ("Hello!" (informal: "I greet you!")) "Servus!" ("Hello!") "Grüezi!" ("Greetings!")

Remember to shake hands! When Germans meet, their greetings can appear quite formal.

Even if they see each other every day at work they will usually shake hands. If you enter a room full of people, a general greeting to all of them is usually sufficient, although you will probably shake hands with some of them at least. Strictly speaking, the older person should hold out their hand first. Close acquaintances and friends however frequently greet each other in Southern European style not with a handshake but with a kiss on the left cheek and a kiss on the right.

.2 Saying goodbye
Vocabulary 4: Saying Goodbye Formally

"Auf Wiedersehen!" ("Goodbye!") "Auf Wiederschauen!" (= South Germany and Austria) "Auf Wiederhören!" ("Goodbye!" (telephone)) "Gute Nacht!" ("Good night!") 1. When saying goodbye, it is also necessary to distinguish between formal and informal registers:

The standard form for saying goodbye in German is "auf Wiedersehen!". It means "Until we see each other again", as does the South German and Austrian variant "auf Wiederschauen". As you obviously can't "see" people on telephones however, you use the phrase "auf Wiederhören" - "until we hear from each other again" - when you put down the receiver. When you are saying goodbye at night, you would say "gute Nacht!".
Vocabulary 5: Saying Goodbye Informally

"Tschüs!" ("Bye!")

"Bis später!" ("See you later!")

Be aware that: • • • • The word "tschüs" (sometimes spelled "tschüss") is the most common farewell phrase amongst friends. You might occasionally find "ciao" Germanized as "tschau". "Tag". from the Latin "ad deum". One should really only use "bis später" to meaning "See you later the same day".such as "Morgen". You will hear it primarily in Southern Germany and Austria. The word "servus" can either mean "hello" or "goodbye" according to context. and means literally "God be with you". There are also transcripts of their conversations in German and English: . like the Spanish "adiós" and the French "adieu".such as "guten" in "guten Abend" . It originally comes.are always written with a capital letter. Watching their body language as they do so is just as important as listening to what they say. all German nouns .are not capitalized unless they occur at the beginning of a sentence. "Abend" and "Nacht" . having the sense of "See you!" or "Bye!". German nouns As you will have noticed. adjectives . This has the advantage for the learner of making them much easier to spot! On the other hand."Ciao!" ("Ciao!") "Servus!" (S. Germany & Austria) 2. Hello and goodbye: vocabulary quiz and videos You can test yourself on how to say hello and goodbye in German by clicking on the bar below: The LangMedia site gives you the opportunity to see and hear Germans say hello and goodbye to each other. When you are saying farewell to friends and young people the above expressions can also be used.

Sie The formal form "Sie" is used when you need to be more polite. The plural form of "Sie" is also "Sie". The plural of "du" is "ihr". "Sie" always starts with a capital letter. The German language has different ways of translating the English pronoun "you": Grammar 1: "du" and "Sie" du The familiar or informal form "du" is used when talking to relatives. . 2. It does not start with a capital letter. Whether to use "Sie" or "du" can be a terrible dilemma for native and non-native speakers alike.3 "Sie" or "du?" 1. although there is a growing trend towards work colleagues being on first name terms with each other and as a consequence using the "du" form. It is the usual form of address when talking to an adult whom you don't know well or at all. close friends and children. A child would always say "Sie" to an adult outside his or her own family. it thus remains the norm amongst employees. As the "Sie" form carries with it great respect.1. It is quite possible for two neighbours to live next door to each other for decades and still call each other "Herr X" or "Frau Y" and refer to each other using "Sie"! It is equally possible for two colleagues to work in the same office all their life and still call each other "Sie" and not be on first name terms.

3. How are you? The choice between "du" and "Sie" is not just one of social niceties. "Wie geht es Ihnen / dir?" literally means: "How goes it for you?" 2. sportsmen). "dir" and "euch" are the dative forms of "Sie". This phrase neatly sidesteps the issue of whether you should refer to the person to whom you . When getting to know new friends and colleagues.? Pronoun Sie (formal) du (informal) ihr (informal plural) How are you? "Wie geht es Ihnen?" "Wie geht es dir?" "Wie geht es euch?" 1. it is advisable to wait for the German speaker to ask you to address them with "du". In all three of the above contexts. you will be expected to use "du". University students invariably call each other "du" even when they're meeting for the first time. which should then be interpreted as an offer of friendship.g. It also affects the grammar of a sentence . "du" and "ihr".. Even an apparently simple construction like "How are you" needs to be remembered in three ways: Grammar 2: Wie geht es. The inappropriate use of "du" to someone in a position of authority in a German-speaking country can appear disrespectful and cause a great deal of offence. you should always use "Sie".. In other areas of social interaction however. soldiers.When meeting someone in a work environment. as do members of certain other groups which place a high value on solidarity (e. You will discover in subsequent chapters that "Ihnen".and verb endings in particular. you might also use "Wie geht's?" ("How are things?"). and may be seen as being cold and aloof if you do not. bluecollar workers.

. Und Ihnen? Frau Müller Leider nicht sehr gut. Schmidt Sehr gut. Pay particular attention to the different greetings which are used in the different contexts. Glossary das Büro im Büro Herr Frau The office In the office Mister "Frau" is the title used for both maried and single women and approximates to the English Ms. Schmidt Herr Dr. "How are you?" As this is an office Wie geht . das tut mir Leid.4 Conversations: Greetings! In the office Here are two conversations which practise the difference between formal and informal greetings. Herr Doktor Schmidt. In our first conversation. Click here or on the sound icon below to listen to their conversation. Frau Müller Auf Wiedersehen. Herr Dr. Frau Müller meets her boss Doctor Schmidt as he comes in for work in the morning. Even though they have worked together for some time. Frau Müller. they still use the formal "Sie" to address each other. Mrs. Schmidt Guten Morgen. although it is a quite informal greeting 1. Conversation 1: Im Büro Herr Dr. Frau Müller Guten Morgen. Wie geht es Ihnen? Herr Dr. Herr Doktor Schmidt. danke. Schmidt Auf Wiedersehen. or Miss. Oh.are talking as "du" or "Sie".

which you could also say in full if you wished. 2. Oh. gut. this title immediately follows "Herr" or "Frau" . "Herr Doktor Schmidt". I'm sorry. They naturally use the informal "du" to address each other. If someone is a doctor of any kind. which you could also say at this point. danke" ("I'm very well. "Very well. das tut mir Leid. and on a bad day the person asked may give you a detailed run-down on his or her precise state of health! At the station In our second conversation. or "Frau Professor Meyer". This is short danke. thank you"). not least because the literal translation of Fräulein is "little woman"! You should instead use Frau." The word "leider" on nicht sehr its own means "unfortunately". Sehr gut. asking about somebody's health is a comparatively private question in Germany. schoolfriends Michael and Franz bump into each at the station and briefly exchange greetings. 3. Und Ihnen? "And you?" This is short for: "Und wie geht es Ihnen?". "Oh. 1. for "Mir geht es sehr gut.es Ihnen? environment. people greet each other by name more often than we do in English-speaking countries. Compared to Anglo-Saxon countries however. the formal version is used. this can mean that you are sorry to hear something or sorry because of something that you have done." As in English. unless you are speaking to a child. Franz.g. The formal use of Fräulein to translate "Miss" is outdated and should be avoided. Conversation 2: Am Bahnhof Michael Tag. you should avoid using first names in formal circumstances. As a general rule. and the correct response is some form of "Fine thanks!" (see above). thank you". . In German.e. Asking how someone is is normally a mere conversational formality. Leider "Not so good.

e. danke.. danke. 1. you could also say "Mir geht es prima. Und dir? Michael Tschüs.Franz Franz Franz Hallo.5 Introducing yourself and others 1.. you should refer to yourself as "Herr X" or "Frau Y": Vocabulary 6: Introducing yourself I am. Bis später. When you are introducing yourself to other people... Again. thank you "Great. Tschüs. they use the informal "du" form. danke Prima. Glossary der Bahnhof am Bahnhof Wie geht es dir? Gut. when you would use "du". Wie geht es dir? Prima. Michael Gut. Well. I am Mister Schmidt I am Ms. Otherwise. Braun I am Thomas I am Ute "Ich bin." "Ich bin Herr Schmidt" "Ich bin Frau Braun" "Ich bin Thomas" "Ich bin Ute" . The word "prima" should really only be used in informal contexts. danke" at this point. you would use your first name in informal circumstances i. Michael. danke The station At the station "How are you?" As these are two young friends who are meeting. thank you".

..Britta.. depending on whether you are in a formal or informal context: Vocabulary 8: What's your name? What's your name? Wie heißen Sie? Wie heißt du? Wie ist Ihr Name? Wie ist dein Name? My name is. ... ich heiße.. This will be explained in subsequent chapters..my husband Johann .Johann. Note the capital letters! "du" has the pronoun "dein". mein Mann" ". Each of these constructions has two different forms.mein Sohn Markus" "... What's your name? There are two main ways of asking someone their name and telling them your own. (Literally: "How is your name?") There are thus two versions of the German possessive adjective "your".2..": Vocabulary 7: Introducing other people And this is...... Markus ...... (Literally: "How are you called?") mein Name ist. meine Tochter" You will notice that the German possessive "my" is spelled "mein" when it refers to a male person.. just as there are two words for the pronoun "you": • • "Sie" has the pronoun "Ihr"...meine Frau Sandra" ".... you can indicate your relationship to them either before their name or after it.my son. In both cases you would start with the words "Und das ist..my daughter Britta "Und das ist. but "meine" when it refers to a female. When you are introducing other people.my wife Sandra ." "...

1. When used as a possessive adjective. unlike its English equivalent "I". Note that the pronoun "sie" can either mean "she" or "they" depending on context.6 Pronouns. it is the informal plural pronoun of "you". possessive adjectives and verbs 1. The word "ihr" can also pose difficulties.As the word for name (der Name) is masculine. We have already met some of the German pronouns and possessive adjectives in this chapter. it either means "her" or . And when it begins with a capital letter "Sie" is the formal form of "you"! Be very careful how you use this pronoun. The table below lists them in full: Grammar 3: Singular pronouns and possessives Pronoun 1st Person 2nd Person 3rd Person ich "I" du "you" Sie er "he" sie "she" es "it" Possessive mein "my" dein "your" Ihr sein ihr sein "his" "her" "its" Grammar 4: Plural pronouns and possessives Pronoun 1st Person wir "we" 2nd Person ihr "you" Sie 3rd Person sie "they " Possessive unser "our" euer Ihr ihr "your" "their " The following points should be noted: • • • The German pronoun "ich" does not start with a capital letter. When used as a pronoun. the possessive "dein" has the same ending as "mein" when it referred to a male person earlier in this section. We will discuss pronouns and possessive adjectives in more detail in the next section.

if that were the case. To construct the individual forms. you would have three "s"'s in a row! Test yourself! You can test yourself on how to form the verb heißen in German by clicking on the bar below: . And when it begins with a capital letter "Ihr" is the formal form of "your"! The third person pronouns "er". remove the "-en" from the infinitive and add personal endings to the remaining stem as follows: Grammar 5: The verb "heißen" (= to be called) Singular ich heiße du heißt Sie heißen Plural wir heißen ihr heißt Sie heißen sie heißen We are called You are called (informal/formal) They are called I am called You are called (informal/formal) er/sie/es heißt He/she/it is called The verb "heißen" is an example of a "weak" or "regular" verb in that it takes the regular personal endings for a verb in the present tense.• "their". Present tense of German verbs The present tense of the vast majority of German verbs is formed from the infinitive of the verb . "to speak" etc. regardless of whether they are persons or things. However they also substitute for all masculine. the infinitive almost always ends in "-en". The reason why it is "du heißt" and not "du heißst" is a logical one . feminine and neuter nouns respectively. The only distinction is that the verb endings for the "du" person is usually "-st" and not "-t" as here. In German. The gender of German nouns will be explained fully in the next chapter.the part of speech which equates to the English "to do". "sie" and "es" can refer to persons.

Listen out for the different ways in which Anna talks first to Frau Schäfer and then to her two children. but you may wish to have our online verb table open to help you as you progress through the course. If so. meets her new neighbour Margarete Schäfer for the first time. click here. Click here or on the sound icon to listen to their conversation: . The other verb which we have encountered so far . 1.7 Conversations: Introductions (1) Listen to the following conversations in which people introduce themselves to each other in different contexts. whom we saw earlier in the office.The verb "sein" (= to be) Unfortunately.is irregular: Grammar 6: The verb "sein" (= to be) Singular ich bin du bist Sie sind er/sie/es ist Plural wir sind ihr seid Sie sind sie sind We are You are (informal/formal) They are I am You are (informal/formal) He/she/it is We will practise German verbs in detail in subsequent chapters.and also the most commonly used German verb! . by no means all verbs are regular. Conversation 3. Anna Müller.

Darf ich mich verabschieden. Danke. . Hallo Natascha! Hallo! (looking at Frau Schäfer's pram) Und wie heißt du? Das ist mein Sohn Winfried. Tschüs. Frau Müller? Auf Wiedersehen! Schönen Tag noch. Natascha! Tschüs! Anna Müller Natascha Schäfer Anna Müller Margarete Schäfer Anna Müller Natascha Schäfer Glossary Freut mich Darf ich mich verabschieden? Schönen Tag noch Ihnen auch Pleased to meet you! "May I say goodbye?" Used in formal contexts only.Conversation 3: Frau Schäfer Anna Müller Margarete Schäfer Guten Tag. meine Tochter. Ihnen auch. Have a nice day! "The same to you!" This is of course the formal version of the pronoun. Mein Name ist Frau Schäfer und das ist Natascha. Und wie heißen Sie? Guten Tag. Freut mich. Ich heiße Frau Müller. Frau Müller.

" Literally: "She gives him the hand"." Note that Professor Jaspert uses the polite "Sie" form when speaking to Sophie. The student Sophie Gerland introduces herself to Professor Robert Jaspert on her first day at the Freie Universität Berlin (Free University of Berlin). He also calls her "Frau Gerland". "She shakes hands with him. Bitte nehmen Sie Platz. Bitte nehmen Sie Platz . Darf ich mich vorstellen? Mein Name ist Gerland. Not shaking hands in this highly formal context would appear rude. "Please sit down.) Guten Tag. (Gibt ihm die Hand.Conversation 4. Professor Jaspert. and not "Fräulein" or "Sophie". Click here or on the mouth icon to listen to their conversation: Conversation 4: An der Universität Sophie Gerland Guten Tag. Frau Gerland. even though she is only 18 years old. Glossary Professor Jaspert die Universität an der Universität Darf ich mich vorstellen? (Gibt ihm die Hand) The university At the university "May I introduce myself?" Used as a polite phrase in a formal conversation.

Conversation 5. All three are 18year-old students. Danke. dich kennen zu lernen. Conversation 5: Marko und Barbara Sophie Gerland Barbara Zacharias Marko Tredup Barbara Zacharias Marko Tredup Hallo Barbara! Darf ich vorstellen? Das ist mein Freund Marko. people introduce themselves to each other in different contexts. you omit the pronoun "mich" which you use when introducing yourself.8 Conversations: Introductions (2) In the following conversations.) Hallo Marko! Hallo Barbara! Nett. Sophie Gerland introduces her boyfriend Marko Tredup to her friend Barbara Zacharias.1. Firstly. they still shake hands on being . Glossary Darf ich vorstellen? (Gibt ihm die Hand) "May I introduce?" When introducing someone else. (Gibt ihm die Hand. Although the fellow students naturally use "du" to each other. gleichfalls.

mein Freund Here: "my boyfriend". Now Marko Tredup introduces Sophie Gerland to his mother. It's therefore a more formal conversation. Note that "dich" is the accusative form of the pronoun "du".) Glossary die Mutter Darf ich dir . Sie kennen zu lernen.. It is also the word which is used for a "any male friend". Or: "The same to you". vorstellen? Mother "May I introduce . Frau Tredup Marko Frau Tredup Sophie Mutter.. likewise". vorstellen?" Here: "my girlfriend". It is also meine . "Thank you. darf ich dir meine Freundin Sophie vorstellen? Freut mich.introduced to each other. (Sie geben sich die Hand. Angenehm. Nett. gleichfalls Conversation 6. "Nice to meet you".. Were he to be speaking in more formal circumstances he would say "Darf ich Ihnen .. Sophie. dich kennen zu lernen. Frau Tredup. Which pronouns are used here and why? Conversation 6: Angenehm. An informal response to being introduced... Danke. to you?" Marko uses "dir" (the dative form of "du") because he is talking to his mother.

9 German first names We have met a number of German first names in this chapter. It literally just means "pleasant". the word which is used for a "any female friend". Hans Peter Female Ursula Hildegard Male Female 11. Werner Ingrid Wolfgang Gertrud . The top twenty male and female names from their survey are listed below: 1997 Berlin phone book: most frequent names Male 1. sixteen researchers at the "Kulturbox" in Berlin collated the frequency of first names in the Berlin telephone directory. Gerhard Gerda 12. "Pleased to meet you. But which are the ones that we are most likely to meet in everyday life? In 1997. "Pleased to meet you". Angenehm (Sie geben sich die Hand) 1. 2. They shake hands. shaking hands is an essential part of social etiquette in this context. 3. Note that Frau Tredup calls Sophie "Sie".Freundin Freut mich. It is interchangable with "Freut mich" as a polite response when being introduced to someone. Click here to see the full list. Once more. even though the latter is the same age as her son Marko. Joachim Sabine 13. Sie kennen zu lernen." This is a more formal version of "Freut mich" which we met in the first conversation.

9. 6. According to the German Language Society (GfdS). and 21% "because it was an unusual name". Andreas Karin 16. 4. 8. 9. Sammy-Joy. 9. Manfred Erika 15. 5. 10. Heinz Klaus Horst Jürgen Dieter Günter Helga Renata Margarete Monika Brigitte Charlotte Gisela 14. 5. 7. 3. The nineties witnessed the birth of children named Fritzi-Bo. Yet recent years have seen parents choosing quite different names for their children. Names are indeed becoming more individual. Karl 19. Frank 20.4. 7. 8. Michael These are probably names which the outsider would recognise as "typically German". the ten names most commonly given to babies in 2006 and 2007 were as follows: The most popular names given to German babies 2007 Boys 1. In an ongoing survey carried out by the German magazine Familie Online for example. 10. 5. 7. 8. 2. 42% of parents stated that they chose the name of the offspring "because they liked it". Leon Girls Marie 2006 Boys 1. Leon Girls Marie Maximilian Sophie Alexander Maria Paul Luca Lukas Felix Elias David Jonas Anna/e Leonie Lea Johanna Charlotte Hanna(h) Sophia Maximilian Sophie Alexander Maria Lukas Paul Luca Tim Felix David Elias Anna/e Leonie Lena Emily Johanna Laura Lea(h) Trends It is true to say that fewer traditional or religious names are chosen now than at the start of the century. Kurt Petra Gabriele Erna Elisabeth 10. 2. 6. 6. 4. 3. Thomas Ingeborg 17. Bernd 18. Whilst only 9% of parents surveyed chose the name of their . and Dana-Fee.

Here is the list of the most popular names given to children born in 1996 in Eastern and Western Germany: (Source: Gesellschaft für deutsche Sprache e. 5. For girls. especially girls' names such as Chiara and Gina.baby because of biblical connotations. 4. 6. Regional variations within Germany In South Germany it is more common to find children with two or three first names (such as Franz Josef). (GfdS)) 1996: Names given to babies in West and East Germany West Boys 1. 7. 8.in the mid1990's they even experienced a renaissance.V. 2. 2. it is clear from the above list that biblical names are by no means dying out . It only entered the top ten of names in . as evidenced by Boris Becker calling his son Noah. the name Michelle is much more common in the East than in the West. In the former East Germany (GDR). 8. the top 20 most popular names given to babies in 2006 are listed below. German parents are also increasingly drawing on a broader range of cultures and backgrounds when naming their children. 5. 9. 3. Italian names are becoming ever more popular. Lukas Philipp Florian Kevin Max Felix Paul Tom Girls Alexander Maria Lukas Daniel Michael Christian Philipp Marcel Jan Tobias Julia Anna/e Laura Marie Sophie Lisa Sara(h) Lena Maximilian Katharina Maximilian Maria Lisa Laura Anna/e Sophia Julia Sara(h) Michelle Vanessa Jessica 10. 9. This year marks the first time however that Lena has become the most popular girls' name. Lukas has now been the most popular boys' name in Austria since 1996 and a total 1. 7. 10. parents still tend to give their sons shorter names such as Tim or Tom than those in the West. 4. Erik Austria According to Statistik Austria. Girls Eas Boys t 1. 6.131 Austrian boys were given this name in 2006. 3.

Philipp 15. Matthias Johanna 10. Elias 14. 5. Paul 18. 7. Dario 18. 2006: Names given to babies in Austria Boys 1.1999 and has since gradually become more popular among Austrian parents. Daniel 16. 8. Julian Girls Elena Sarah Chiara Mia Jana Selina Vanessa Alessia Jessica Michelle 10. 6. Leandro 14. Nico Girls Lea Lara Viktoria Selina Vanessa Sophia Elena Nina Magdalena Maximilian Katharina Alexander Sophie 19. Felix 12. Robin 16. 3. 9. 8. Jonas . Julian Switzerland The top 20 names given to babies born in the German-speaking region of Switzerland (die Deutschschweiz) in 2006 are listed below. 2. Luca Noah Leon David Joël Jan Simon Tim Nico Girls Anna Lena Lara Laura Léonie Julia Lea Sara Nina Alina Boys 11. 4. Fabian 15. Michael 20. 3. Jakob 13. 6. 4. which had been the most popular boys' name in German-speaking Switzerland from 1997-2004. 7. Luca. Lukas 12. Gian 17. Click here for a fuller table that gives you the top 60 names for both genders. Jonas 17. Jakob 13. 9. Anna replaced Leonie as the most popular name given to baby girls. Janis 20. Lukas Tobias David Florian Simon Fabian Sebastian Girls Lena Leonie Sarah Anna Julia Hannah Laura Lisa Boys 11. 2. 5. Fabio 19. regained its position at the top of the list of male names from David. 2006: Names given to babies in Switzerland Boys 1.

you may wish to open our guide to pronouncing the letters of the German alphabet. h.10 Spelling your name To help you in these conversations. In the Rumantsch-speaking regions. whereas Samuel. Anna Müller is uncertain how Natascha Schäfer spells her Christian name. s. a. a. a. Sofia. Glossary Wie schreibt How do you write that? . Click here or on the sound icon to listen to their conversation: Conversation 7: N-a-t-a-s-c-h-a Anna Müller Natascha Schäfer Anna Müller Natascha Schäfer Wie heißt du? Natascha. 1. Conversation 7. In the Ticino.The difference between the various language groupings in Switzerland is quite pronounced. Giulia and Giada were the most popular names given to girls in the Italian-speaking area. Luca and Alessandro were the joint most popular names given to baby boys in 2006. the Italian-speaking region of Switzerland. Wie schreibt man das? Großes n. In the Frenchspeaking areas. t. Nico and Anna topped their respective lists in 2006. Noah and Nathan were the most popular names given to male babies. Click here for further information on the names given to Swiss children between 2004 and 2006. and decides to ask her. Léa regained its position in 2006 as the most popular name given to baby girls from Laura. c.

you would say "kleines s". Maria Strauß goes to the bank to withdraw some money. r. a. a. r. t. How does he ask her to do this? Conversation 8: Die Bank Maria Strauß Herr Klein Maria Strauß Herr Klein Maria Strauß Guten Morgen... but he needs to be certain how to spell her name. Mein Name ist Maria Strauß. langsam. scharfes s. Conversation 8..man das? Großes s "Capital s. u. t." Or literally "big s". She tries to give her details to Herr Klein behind the counter. Glossary die Bank the bank Wie buchstabiert How do you spell that? man das? Das buchstabiert It's spelt.. u. . man. Wie buchstabiert man das? Das buchstabiert man: großes s. If you wanted to say "small s". Bitte wiederholen Sie das. scharfes s. Großes s.

"one".scharfes s "scharfes s" (literally "sharp s") is the name for the "ß" symbol. It takes the third person singular ("er/sie/es") verb endings. It sounds exactly like the "ss" sound. I didn't quite catch that! There are a number of other useful phrases which you can use if you haven't quite understood and would like somebody to repeat something: Could you repeat that? Wie bitte? ("What did you say?") Noch mal langsam bitte! ("Say that again please. Quia The online testing centre Quia allows us to use Java exercises such as flashcards. Austria and Switzerland. Sie das. slowly? langsam The pronoun "man" equates to "on" in French. ("Could you repeat that slowly?") Exercises 1.e. langsam. Bitte wiederholen Could you repeat that. and answers questions of our choosing. "they" etc.") Bitte wiederholen Sie das. memory games and hangman as a means of aiding vocabulary-building and grammar practice. slowly.i. Internet scavenger hunts mean that you can surf sites offering background information on Germany. "you". Click on the buttons below to access the Quia exercises which we have devised for you for this chapter: . in that it is used when talking about what people in general do .

2. On the Mauskarte page. Send each other a German web-card Our chapters will also contain a number of web-based exercises which broaden cultural awareness whilst also testing grammatical elements. In your card you should: . Select the animation that you wish to use for your card by clicking on the pictures that inetrest you. Use the Mauskarte to send greetings to your friends or your teacher. 3.including radio. we would like you to go to the homepage of the German children's TV programme newspaper Die Maus (= The Mouse). This can range from jumbled word and sentence exercises to short quizzes. Preparing to discover German culture via the Internet in all its multimedial glory . you will find a variety of animated cards featuring the cartoon animals featured in the show. others for holidays and festivals. Hot Potatoes Different kind of online exercises have been designed using the Hot Potatoes software. Click on the button below to get started. which is a German TV programme for children. television and e-mail! For this section. Some of the cards are for birthday greetings and general congratulations. It is the former type of questions which we wish you to try for Chapter 1.

2. of course!) Click on this button to get started: If you want to watch extracts of the TV programme. this chapter concentrates on the gender of German nouns. . click here for a series of clips taken from the cartoon series Die Maus. Grammatically. We shall also learn when to omit the German definite article and how to decline the present tense of the verb "arbeiten". Overview In this chapter you will learn: • • • • • • • • how to ask someone where they come from the names of cities and countries in German how to express your nationality how to ask somebody what their job is how to describe your own job basic facts and figures about Germany about German history about the sixteen German Länder Grammar 1.• • • • say hello say who you are ask how the person to whom you are writing say goodbye (all in German.

In subsequent chapters we shall also encounter "wohin" which means "to where": 2. Note the word order in German when a question is being . Wo wohnen Sie? Wo wohnst du? ich wohne in. Vocabulary 2: Where do you live? Where do you live? I live in. (Literally: "Where are you from?") You might wish to ask somebody where they live.1 Where are you from? Having asked how somebody is and what their name is.2... ich komme aus.? Where are you from? Woher kommen Sie? Woher kommst du? I'm from. You may have noticed that there are different words for "where" in German. "Woher" means "from where". There are two main phrases that you can employ for this.. but remember to distinguish between the "Sie" and "du" forms depending on the person to whom you are talking! Click on the sound icon to hear these phrases. (You can listen to them by clicking on the sound icon.. (Literally: "Where do you live?") Questions 1..... you will then want to find out where they come from.. There is one main phrase for this.. (Literally: "Where do you come from?") Woher sind Sie? Woher bist du? ich bin aus. whereas "wo" is the word which is used when no movement is involved..) Vocabulary 1: Woher.

2.asked. in . The question word comes first. German has no separate form to indicate continuing action. followed by the verb and then the subject of the sentence. "er wohnt" could either mean "he lives"or "he is living" depending on context. e. "sie" (plural) and "Sie" forms are the same for all verbs. Note that the present tense of a German verb has two possible English translations.g. We have now met several examples of this: • • • • • • • "Wie geht es Ihnen?" (= "How are you?") "Wie heißt du?" (= "What is your name?") "Wie ist Ihr Name?" ("What is your name?") "Woher kommst du?" ("Where do you come from?") "Wo wohnen Sie?" ("Where do you live?") "Wie schreibt man das?" (= "How do you write that?") "Wie buchstabiert man das?" (= "How do you spell that?") Present tense of German verbs (2) You will have noted that the verbs "wohnen" (= "to live") and "kommen" (= "to come") used above have the same endings as "heißen" in the previous chapter. To help you get used to a difficult part of German grammar. Helpfully. Unlike English. we will reproduce the present tense of these verbs in full below: Grammar 1: The verb "wohnen" (= to live) Singular ich wohne du wohnst Sie wohnen er/sie/es wohnt Plural wir wohnen ihr wohnt Sie wohnen sie wohnen We live You live (informal/formal) They live I live You live (informal/formal) He/she/it lives 1. You may also have noted that the endings for the "wir".

In the vast majority of other German tenses it is irregular and its various forms need to be learned off by heart! Test yourself! You can test yourself on the present tense of the verb "kommen" by clicking on the bar below: 2. Most nouns denoting male persons and animals are in fact masculine. One of the major difficulties experienced by English speakers when learning German is that all German nouns. and most of those denoting females are feminine (examples of natural gender).3 The gender of German nouns Masculine. a . Grammar 2: The verb "kommen" (= to come) Singular ich komme du kommst Sie kommen er/sie/es kommt Plural wir kommen ihr kommt Sie kommen sie kommen We come You come (informal/formal) They come I come You come (informal/formal) He/she/it comes Note however that the verb "kommen" is only a regular verb in the present tense. a name is masculine in German (der Name). whether they represent persons. Considering the nouns with which we have come into contact so far for example. feminine or neuter. things or ideas have a grammatical gender. this is not the case in German. but names of inanimate objects can be masculine.regular verbs their verb form will be exactly the same as the infinitive. Whereas in English gender virtually always corresponds logically to the sex of the noun. feminine and neuter We can put it off no longer.

Against all natural logic. isolated word. Although there is no apparent rationale for this classification. We call "the" and its German equivalents the definite article. The definite article The best way to remember German genders is to learn each noun not as a single. guidelines for predicting genders do exist.city is feminine (die Stadt).indeed there are exceptions to most of them. while a turnip has. Here are the genders of some of the nouns that we have met so far together with the appropriate form of the definite article: Grammar 4: Gender and the definite article Masculine der Mann (= the man) der Sohn (= the son) der Freund (= the male friend) der Tag (= the day) Feminine die Frau (= the woman) Neuter das Kind (= the child) die Tochter das (= the daughter) Mädchen (= the girl) die Freundin (= the female friend) die Nacht (= the night) das Büro (= the office) das Land (= the country) Compound nouns Many German nouns are a combination of two or more shorter ." The unpalatable truth is that whenever you learn a German noun. and what callous disrespect for the girl. but together with the word for "the" that goes with it. about 45% of German nouns are masculine. you have to learn its gender. Think what overwrought reverence that shows for the turnip. a young lady has no sex. the definite article in German is used to make the gender of German nouns obvious. and unlike English nouns. Overall. 35% are feminine and 20% are neuter. Yet these rules are far from watertight . whereas the word for a country is neuter (das Land). the word for a girl is neuter in German (das Mädchen)! The author Mark Twain famously complained about German nouns: "In German. just as Germans do.

and are never used with the definite article. A small number of names for countries however are feminine and are always preceded by the definite article "die".but this article changes from "die" to "der".we call them compound nouns. you also have to include the definite article with the preposition . The gender is always that of the last element in the compound noun: Grammar 5: Compound nouns Noun der Name (= the name) Compound noun der Vorname (= the Christian name) die Frau die Hausfrau (= the woman) (= the housewife) das Land (= the country) das Ausland (= abroad) 2. We shall see in a subsequent section that this is because it is now in the dative case. Grammar 6: Prepositions and feminine countries Where are you from? Woher kommen Sie? .4 Countries (2) Feminine countries So far all the countries which we have encountered have been neuter. Vocabulary 5: Feminine Countries Das Land Country Das Land Country die Switzerland Schweiz die Türkei Turkey die Slovakia Slowakei die Ukraine Czech Republic Ukraine die Tschechische Republik When you explain that you come from any of these countries.words .

: "I come from Switzerland") Woher ist Andrea? sie ist aus der Ukraine (Trans.: "She is from the United States") er wohnt in den Niederlanden (Trans.: "She is from the Ukraine") Where do you live? Wo wohnt Mehmet? er wohnt in der Türkei (Trans.: "I come from the USA") sie ist aus den Vereinigten Staaten (Trans.ich komme aus der Schweiz (Trans.: "He lives in Turkey") Plural Countries A small number of countries are written in the plural in German. In this case the definite article changes from "die" to "den": Vocabulary 6: Plural Countries Das Land die USA die Vereinigten Staaten die Niederlande Phrases Country USA United States Netherlands ich komme aus den USA (Trans.: "He lives in the Netherlands") Notes 1. Note that "die Niederlande" adds an "-n" when we write "in .

It should really only be used to translate the continent of America however. which changes from "der" to "dem" when you are describing where you are from. particularly in the Middle East .5 Nationalities Nouns of nationality The German construction for saying which nationality you are is different from in English. ich bin Brite ("I'm British (male)") Woher ist Anne? Woher kommt Urs? Woher bist du? sie ist Britin ("She is British") er ist Schweizer ("He is Swiss") ich bin . And just as there are different words for "friend" depending on the gender of the person concerned. "Amerika" is often used to translate "the United States".den Niederlanden" or "aus den Niederlanden".. It is a neuter noun and is thus used without a definite article."Ich bin Engländer" (literally: "I am Englishman"). "der Irak" (= Iraq) "der Iran" (= Iran). particularly in conversation. 3. German uses a noun without a different article . This again is a result of the noun now being in the dative case. 2. "der Jemen" (= Yemen)."der Libanon" (= Lebanon). you would need to employ the feminine version of the noun if the person being described is a woman ."Ich bin Engländerin" (literally: "I am Englishwoman"): Grammar 7: Describing your nationality Where are you from? Woher kommen Sie? I'm from. They too are almost always used with the definite article. "I am English" -.. 2. A few countries are masculine in German.i. Whereas English uses an adjective .e.

"der Deutsche" . This is a little misleading however. For as we shall see in Chapter 11. Note that: • • • The vast majority of feminine nouns end in "-in"..."die Deutsche" ("the German woman"). the names of male inhabitants listed below either end in "e" or "-er".Schweizerin ("I am Swiss (female)") Nationality table Listed below are the nouns of nationality for the countries which we have encountered so far.is an adjectival noun. the masculine nouns that end in "e" can in fact take a number of endings depending on the case that they are in and whether they are preceded by an article. der Israeli. Vocabulary 7: Ich bin Engländer(in) Country Andorra Australien Belgien Brasilien Bulgarien China Dänemark Deutschland England Estland Finnland Frankreich Male Inhabitant Andorraner Australier Belgier Brasilianer Bulgare Chinese Däne Deutscher Engländer Este Finne Franzose Female Inhabitant Andorranerin Australierin Belgierin Brasilianerin Bulgarin Chinesin Dänin Deutsche Engländerin Estin Finnin Französin . der Zypriot). This type of noun will also be discussed in Chapter 11." The word for a German man . With a few exceptions (der Ungar. The major exception is an important one however . For the moment we have given you the endings that you will need to translate "He is a .

Griechenland Indien Irland Island Israel Italien Japan Kanada Kolumbien Kroatien Lettland Liechtenstein Litauen Luxemburg Malta Mazedonien Mexiko Moldawien Monaco Neuseeland Norwegen Österreich Polen Portugal Rumänien Russland Schottland Schweden die Schweiz die Slowakei Slowenien Spanien Grieche Inder Ire Isländer Israeli Italiener Japaner Kanadier Kolumbianer Kroate Lette Litauer Luxemburger Malteser Mazedonier Mexikaner Moldawier Monegasse Neuseeländer Norweger Österreicher Pole Portugiese Rumäne Russe Schotte Schwede Schweizer Slowake Slowene Spanier Griechin Britin Inderin Irin Isländerin Israeli Italienerin Japanerin Kanadierin Kolumbianerin Kroatin Lettin Litauerin Luxemburgerin Malteserin Mazedonierin Mexikanerin Moldawierin Monegassin Neuseeländerin Niederländerin Norwegerin Österreicherin Polin Portugiesin Rumänin Russin Schottin Schwedin Schweizerin Slowakin Slowenin Spanierin Großbritannien Brite Liechtensteiner Liechtensteinerin die Niederlande Niederländer .

What sort of questions do they ask each other. right) whilst sitting outside a café in Bavaria in summer. left) strikes up a conversation with a German local Klaus Wagner (seated. Sind Sie vielleicht .6 Conversation: Im Café Das Café An English tourist Peter Withe (standing. Guten Tag.Südafrika Südkorea die Tschechische Republik Tunesien die Türkei die Ukraine Ungarn die USA Wales Zypern Südafrikaner Südkoreaner der Tscheche Südafrikanerin Südkoreanerin die Tschechin Tunesier der Türke der Ukrainer Ungar Tunesierin die Türkin die Ukrainerin Ungarin (US-)Amerikan (US-)Amerikaner er in Waliser Zypriot Waliserin Zypriotin Test yourself! You can test yourself on your knowledge of German words for nationalities by clicking on the two bars below: 2. and how do they respond? Conversation 1: Im Café Peter Withe Klaus Guten Tag.

Peter Withe. Ich komme aus Wagner Norddeutschland.without a definite article. Klaus Wagner. Mein Name ist Wagner. ich komme nicht aus den USA. Klaus Sie sind also kein Amerikaner? Wagner Peter Withe Nein. Klaus Woher kommen Sie? Wagner Peter Withe Ich komme aus Birmingham. A female foreigner would be "die Ausländerin". "vielleicht" would be translated as "perhaps". Und Sie? Klaus Ich bin Deutscher. The literal translation is "Are you perhaps foreigner?" vielleicht In almost all other contexts. Glossary das Café im Café der Ausländer The café In the café A male "foreigner". Und wie heißen Sie? Peter Withe Ich heiße Withe. Be very careful of this word in German! It doesn't mean English "also" but "therefore" or "so". also Sie sind also kein "So you're not American?" The Amerikaner? word "kein" literally means "not an". . Sind Sie vielleicht "Are you a foreigner by any Ausländer? chance?" Peter's German accent is not as authentic as he thinks! Note that "Ausländer" is used in exactly the same way as all other nationalities .Wagner Ausländer? Peter Withe Ja. Aber ich wohne hier in Bayern. ich bin Engländer.

This means "Bavaria". Herr Loss (second from left) introduces Ken McNaught (left). Herr McNaught aus Glasgow. to Frau Melzig and Herr Slomka (right). er ist Schotte. Many German regions with which we are familiar turn out to have very different names in German. Sind Sie Schotte? Herr Loss Herr McNaught Ja. Herr McNaught. bitte? . Bayern 2. aber ich komme aus der Schweiz.a compound noun. Er ist in der Nähe von Glasgow geboren. Frau Melzig Guten Tag. who has just arrived from Glasgow. This is one word only in German . Mein Mann ist Deutscher. Herr McNaught Und wie ist Ihr Name. Willkommen in Hannover. Sind Sie Deutsche? Frau Melzig Nein.7 Conversation: Im Sitzungssaal Im Sitzungsaal In a conference room (der Sitzungssaal) at a trade fair in Hanover.Norddeutschland "North Germany". Frau Melzig aus Hannover. Conversation 2: Im Sitzungssaal Herr Loss Darf ich vorstellen.

. after the place in which the person was born.. Are you Scottish? "yes / no"..Herr Loss Herr McNaught Herr Slomka Herr McNaught Herr Loss Das ist Herr Slomka. Glossary der Sitzungssaal im Sitzungssaal Willkommen in Hannover The conference room In the conference room "Welcome to Hanover". "He was born.8 Professions Der Beruf The German construction for explaining what your job is . didn't you? This somewhat lengthy construction simply means "near Glasgow". But you knew that already. Woher sind Sie. geboren aber hier Sind Sie hier auf Geschäftsreise? 2. Note that German uses a different preposition to English in this context. Herr Slomka? Ich bin aus Moskau. Er wohnt hier. Aha! Sie sind Russe! Sind Sie hier auf Geschäftsreise? Nein. but here Are you here on business? Sind Sie Schotte? ja / nein in der Nähe von Glasgow Er ist ." Note that the word "geboren" is always placed right at the end of the clause..

there are also two forms of each profession which need to be learned to employ the feminine version of the noun if the person being described is a woman . Grammar 8: What do you do for a living? What's your job? I'm a.involves the German word for profession . You have a choice of word order with this construction. the verb which you will need throughout is the irregular verb "sein". Whereas in English we would say "I'm a doctor". Once more. (male) Was sind Sie von Beruf? Was bist du von Beruf? What's her job? Was ist sie von Beruf? von Beruf bin ich Arzt ich bin Arzt (von Beruf) She's a. von Beruf ist sie Ärztin sie ist Ärztin (von Beruf) You will have noticed that we use exactly the same construction for professions as we do for nationalities."I am doctor"). Table of professions Listed below are the names of the most commonly used German professions with their male and female variants. And just as there are two words for "a friend" or "a German" depending on the gender of the speaker. in German you would say "Ich bin Arzt" (literally ."der Beruf". ... and can also choose whether to say "ich bin Manager von Beruf" or simply "ich bin Manager".."Ich bin Ärztin"..

the suffix "-in" is often added in the feminine form . .Vocabulary 8: Professions Profession Actor Artist Author Bank clerk Car mechanic Chemist Civil servant Doctor Engineer Farmer Hairdresser Journalist Lawyer Lecturer Nurse Pensioner Photographer Politician Postman Professor Salesperson Secretary Student Taxi driver Teacher Waiter Male Variant Schauspieler Künstler Schriftsteller Female Variant Schauspielerin Künstlerin Schriftstellerin Geschäftsfrau Automechanikerin Chemikerin Beamtin Ärztin Ingenieurin Landwirtin Friseurin Journalistin Rechtsanwältin Dozentin Krankenpflegerin Rentnerin Fotografin Politikerin Briefträgerin Professorin Verkäuferin Sekretärin Studentin Taxifahrerin Lehrerin Kellnerin Bankangestellter Bankangestellte Automechaniker Chemiker Beamter Arzt Ingenieur Landwirt Friseur Journalist Rechtsanwalt Dozent Krankenpfleger Rentner Fotograf Politiker Briefträger Professor Verkäufer Sekretär Student Taxifahrer Lehrer Kellner Business(wo)man Geschäftsmann Grammar 1) As you will have noted from the above list.i. Kellner + "-in" = Kellnerin.e.

i. Arzt + "-in" = Ärztin.e. Er ist Deutschlehrer in der Türkei. Frau Herda? Von Beruf bin ich Lehrerin. nein. Bankangestellter . Das gibt's doch gar nicht! Wo arbeitet er? Hier in Berlin? Nein. 2. Und was sind Sie von Beruf? . Wir sind beide in der Türkei geboren. Müslüm Can and Mareike Herda (pictured below standing with her pupils. 4) There are sometimes different words for male and female jobs .i.e. 3) Occasionally the male form ends in "-in".2) Sometimes the female equivalent modifies slightly with the addition of an "Umlaut" . Geschäftsmann (male) and Geschäftsfrau."-r" = Bankangestellte. Ach nein! Mein Bruder ist auch Lehrer. Conversation 1: Die Lehrerin und der Gemüsehändler Müslüm Can Mareike Herda Müslüm Can Mareike Herda Müslüm Can Mareike Herda Was sind Sie eigentlich von Beruf. and the female equivalent in "-e" . at the back on the right) discuss the jobs to which they are travelling.e.i.9 Conversation: Der Beruf The teacher and the greengrocer Whilst waiting at the bus-stop.

"Where does he work?".Müslüm Can Mareike Herda Müslüm Can Ich bin Gemüsehändler. in fact Switching the word order around such that "von Beruf" comes first places slightly more emphasis on the profession. "he is working" and "he does work".. There is no German equivalent of the English word "does".. geboren wir beide der Gemüsehändler in der Stadt ... Be very careful of this word in German! It doesn't mean English "also" but "therefore" or "so". Ich arbeite in einem kleinen Gemüseladen in der Nähe von hier. Not to be confused with the German word "also" meaning "therefore" (see below). also". "German teacher". both of us greengrocer in the city Ach nein! mein Bruder auch also Das gibt's doch gar nicht! Wo arbeitet er? Deutschlehrer Wir sind . Glossary eigentlich von Beruf bin ich.. actually. Literally "Oh no!".. but the sense is one of surprise: "Really?!" my brother "too. "Well I never! You don't say!".. Note that this is written as one word in German. A polite expression of great surprise. "Er arbeitet" is the sole German translation for "he works". Arbeiten Sie hier in der Stadt? Ja. We were born .

in einem kleinen Gemüseladen in der Nähe von hier in a little greengrocer's shop near here Test yourself! Test how well you have understood this passage by doing this gap-filling exercise."arbeiten" (= "to work"). All of the missing words were spoken by Müslüm and Mareike in this passage! Present tense of the verb "arbeiten" We have met a new verb in this section . an extra "-e" is added before the "du". "er/sie" and "ihr" endings. To prevent a build-up of unpronouncable and teeth-damaging consonants. Grammar 1: The verb "arbeiten" Singular ich arbeite du arbeitest Sie arbeiten er/sie/es arbeitet Plural wir arbeiten ihr arbeitet Sie arbeiten sie arbeiten We work You work (informal/formal) They work I work You work (informal/formal) He/she/it works . some of the endings are slightly different as the stem of the verb ends in "t". Although it is a regular verb.

The sixteenth state is Berlin comprising what used to be West and East Berlin. Bayern (Bavaria) is the largest Land in terms of area.2. whilst the former GDR has been divided into five federal states. If you click on the names of each federal state.12 The German Länder The Federal Republic of Germany is called "Federal" because it consists of a federation of sixteen Länder or states. Quiz Once you have looked at the map of the sixteen Länder. whilst Nordrhein-Westfalen (North Rhine-Westphalia) has the largest population. you can test your knowledge of precisely where they are in Germany by doing the online jigsaw on the homepage of UK-German Connection: Facts and figures As you can see from the table below. There are ten Länder in the territory of the former West Germany. you will be taken to the homepage .

55 0.554 889 29.570 18. The Sixteen German Länder Land Capital Population Area (millions) (km²) 10.476 404 755 21.04 3.82 7.88 4.846 2.55 2.348 34.74 2.82 17.072 19.of the Land.114 23.732 16.45 2.421 47.03 1. English translations of German Länder German Bayern Hessen MecklenburgVorpommern Niedersachsen English Bavaria Hesse Mecklenburg WestVorpomerania Lower Saxony . Many of these homepages also have English versions.176 Baden-Württemberg Stuttgart Bayern Berlin Brandenburg Bremen Hamburg Hessen MecklenburgVorpommern Niedersachsen Rheinland-Pfalz Saarland Sachsen Sachsen-Anhalt Schleswig-Holstein Thüringen Munich --------Potsdam ----------------Wiesbaden Schwerin Hanover Mainz Dresden Magdeburg Kiel Erfurt Nordrhein-Westfalen Düsseldorf Saarbrücken 1.72 2.408 20.751 70.443 15.71 6.95 3.08 The English translation of the German Länder names Many of these German Länder have English equivalents although the English version of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern is no less of a mouthful! Note in particular the very different German name for what we call Bavaria.49 35.68 1.37 12.

3. this chapter concentrates on the plural of German nouns. We shall also learn about the difference between subject and object. The use and formation of the indefinite article will be discussed. . 2. This chapter will also concentrate on the different forms of the possessive adjective. and the nominative and accusative cases.NordrheinWestfalen Rheinland-Pfalz Sachsen Sachsen-Anhalt Thüringen North RhineWestphalia RhinelandPalatinate Saxony Saxony-Anhalt Thuringia Overview In this chapter you will learn: • • • • • • how to ask someone their age how to say what belongs to you and other people how to count from one to twenty in German a range of vocabulary for the family a range of vocabulary for the names of pets about the love-hate relationship between Germans and dogs Grammar 1. Grammatically. 4.

bitte? Ich heiße Anna Müller. Woher kommen Sie? Sind Sie aus Berlin? Ich wohne jetzt in Berlin. You will be familiar with some of the questions. but what new information is Anna being asked to give here? You can listen to the interviews by clicking on the "On air" icon. ich komme aber aus Linz. There they are interviewed by the DJ Claudia Stenzel.1 Im Studio (1) Anna Müller and Müslüm Can have both been invited to the studios of Radio Eins in Berlin to discuss their lives in Germany. Or if you want. Frau Müller? Ich bin fünfzig Jahre alt. Wie alt sind Sie. Wo ist Linz? . Conversation 1: Interview mit Anna Müller Claudia Stenzel Anna Müller Claudia Stenzel Anna Müller Claudia Stenzel Anna Müller Claudia Stenzel Willkommen im Studio! Wie ist Ihr Name. you can listen to Radio Eins live on the Internet by clicking here.3.

Was sind Sie von Beruf? Von Beruf bin ich Sekretärin. und wie alt ist er? Unser Sohn heißt Lukas. Wie heißt Ihr Sohn. Wir haben einen Sohn und auch eine Tochter. Sind sie verheiratet? Ja. Er ist zwanzig Jahre alt. Sie ist siebzehn Jahre alt. Frau Stenzel. .Anna Müller Claudia Stenzel Anna Müller Claudia Stenzel Anna Müller Claudia Stenzel Anna Müller Claudia Stenzel Anna Müller Claudia Stenzel Anna Müller Linz liegt in Österreich. wir haben zwei Kinder. Und Ihre Tochter? Unsere Tochter heißt Julia. ich bin verheiratet. Haben Sie auch Kinder? Ja.

" Literally: "Linz lies in Austria. Note the feminine "-in" suffix to describe Anna Müller. ich bin verheiratet Kinder "Are you married?" Again note the word order for questions without a question word.Glossary das Interview mit willkommen! das Studio willkommen im Studio! bitte Wie alt sind Sie? interview with welcome! studio welcome to the studio! please "How old are you?" This construction will be explained in detail in the next section." See next Jahre alt section for explanation. sind Sie verheiratet? ja. "Where?" or "Why?" for example. I am married. Whereas English nouns (except for "children"!) tend to end in "s" in the plural." You could also say: "Linz ist in Österreich. ich bin fünfzig "I am 50 years old." Wo ist Linz? Linz liegt in Österreich die Sekretärin This means "secretary". followed by the verb and then the subject of the sentence. the verb is the first element followed by the subject of the sentence. Note that Claudia is using the polite "Sie" form when addressing Frau Müller. Sind Sie aus Berlin? "Are you from Berlin?" In many questions. Yes. German has a whole range of plurals which . "Linz is in Austria. "Where is Linz?" For questions which ask "Who?". the question word comes first. This is the word for "children".

. wir haben zwei Kinder Do you also have children? "Yes.. haben Sie auch Kinder? Ja. we have two children. und eine Tochter Ihr Sohn unser Sohn Wie alt ist er? How old is he? er ist zwanzig he is twenty years old Jahre alt Ihre Tochter unsere Tochter your daughter our daughter sie ist she is seventeen years old siebzehn Jahre alt 3.. we have a son... . .. and a daughter your son Our son Wir haben einen Sohn... it is in fact irregular (see next section).need to be learned along with the gender.2 How old are you? Asking how old someone is in German required exactly the same construction as in English." Although the verb "haben" ("to have") might look regular. It is however reliant on the student knowing the different forms of the irregular verb "sein" (= "to be") which you should have learned by now! Vocabulary 1: How old are you? Singular wie alt bin ich? (How old am I?) wie alt bist du? (How old are wie alt sind you?) .

Sie? wie alt ist er/sie? Plural wie alt sind wir? wie alt seid ihr? wie alt sind Sie? wie alt sind sie? (How old are we?) (How old are you?) (How old is he/she?) (How old are they?) And you respond to this question by using the following constructions: Vocabulary 2: I am 20 years old Singular ich bin 20 Jahre (I am 20 years alt old) du bist 20 Jahre alt Sie sind 20 Jahre alt er ist 20 Jahre alt sie ist 20 Jahre alt Plural wir sind 20 Jahre alt ihr seid 20 Jahre alt Sie sind 20 Jahre alt sie sind 20 Jahre alt (We are 20 years old) (You are 20 years old) (You are 20 years old) (He is 20 years old) (She is 20 years old) (They are 20 years old) .

followed by the subject of the sentence: • • • "Sind Sie verheiratet?" ("Are you married?") "Haben Sie Kinder?" ("Do you have children?") "Darf ich mich verabschieden?" ("May I say goodbye?") Present tense of the verb "haben" The German verb "haben" (= "to have") is another common German verb which is irregular.Different types of questions In the previous chapter we looked at word order in questions where there are specific question words. If you remember. you should put the verb first. followed by the verb and then the subject of the sentence: • • • "Wie geht es Ihnen?" ("How are you?") "Woher kommst du?" ("Where do you come from?") "Wo wohnen Sie?" ("Where do you live?") We have seen from the previous conversation however that if there is no specific question word in the clause. the question word comes first.3 Im Studio (2) . The "-b-" of the stem disappears in both the "du" and the "er/sie" forms of the present tense: Grammar 1: The verb "haben" (= to have) Singular ich habe du hast Sie haben Plural wir haben ihr habt Sie haben sie haben We have You have (informal/formal) They have I have You have (informal/formal) er/sie/es hat He/she/it has 3.

Conversation 2: Interview mit Müslüm Can Claudia Stenzel Müslüm Can Claudia Stenzel Müslüm Can Claudia Stenzel Müslüm Can Claudia Stenzel Müslüm Can Claudia Stenzel Müslüm Can Claudia Stenzel Willkommen im Studio! Wer sind Sie? Mein Name ist Müslüm Can. ich bin nicht verheiratet. you can listen to Radio Eins live on the Internet by clicking here. meine Eltern haben einen Hund. Was sind Sie von Beruf? Ich bin Gemüsehändler hier in Kreuzberg. Und mein Großvater hat eine Katze. Or if you want. Sie wohnen alle in der Türkei. Sind sie verheiratet? Nein. Und wie heißen sie? . Ich habe auch keine Kinder. Haben Sie Geschwister? Ja. How does his situation and family life differ from that of Anna Müller? Once again.Now it is Müslüm Can's turn to be interviewed by Claudia Stenzel at Radio Eins in Berlin. you can listen to the interviews by clicking on the "On air" icon. Haben Sie Haustiere? Ja. ich habe einen Bruder und zwei Schwestern.

The German word "kein(e)" means "not any" or "no(ne)". the German word for not . "Do you have any brothers or sisters?" The useful word "Geschwister" means "brothers and sisters". "I am not married. der Gemüsehändler Kreuzberg ich bin nicht verheiratet ich habe keine Kinder Haben Sie Geschwister? ."nicht" .precedes an adjective. Don't you remember? Kreuzberg is a region of Berlin inhabited by people of many nationalities. "I don't have any children." Literally: "I have no children". Die Katze mag den Hund nicht. Und er mag sie auch nicht! Glossary Wer sind Sie? "Who are you?" In this context this seems to be quite an abrupt way of asking somebody's name! Müslüm is a greengrocer.Müslüm Can Der Hund heißt Rex und die Katze heißt Mieze. Click here to visit the official homepage of Kreuzberg." Just as in English.

ich habe einen Bruder "I have a brother". "The cat doesn't like the dog". my grandfather Müslüm's grandfather has "a cat".sie . Literally: "The cat likes the dog not. while "sie" (= "she") refers back to the feminine noun "die Katze". The full sentence would thus be translated as "They all live in Turkey". "Er" (= "he") refers back to the masculine noun "der Hund". "Pets". This is the word for a "dog". The word "Eltern" is only used in the plural. The next section will explain the endings on the indefinite article "einen".. all of them"." Although the German word for "not" "nicht" . This means "everyone. it follows the object of a sentence. One pet would be "ein Haustier". zwei Schwestern "Two sisters" alle Haustiere meine Eltern der Hund mein Großvater eine Katze Mieze Die Katze mag den Hund nicht er.precedes an adjective (see above).. "Mieze" approximates to the English "puss" or "pussy". "My parents". The next section will explain the endings on the indefinite article "einen".

For the moment. English plurals are invariably formed by adding "-s" to the singular form. Feminine nouns which end in "-in" (such as those describing professions and nationalities) add "-nen" in the plural: .4 Plurals of German nouns With the exception of nouns such as "children" and "sheep". we will restrict ourselves to pointing out a few general guidelines .e. where there are a number of possible plural endings. Feminine nouns • • Feminine nouns are the most predictable in their plural form.and from now on we will list each noun which we encounter with its plural form and the correct form of the definite article. Frau + "-en" = Frauen. It will thus be necessary for the student to learn the plural of each noun as well as its gender .but (as ever!) there are a large number of exceptions to these rules! 1. The majority of them add "-en": i. In the table below are the plurals of some of the nouns that we have encountered so far: Grammar 2: Plurals of German nouns Masculine Feminine Männer ("men") Freunde Söhne ("sons") Tage ("days") Frauen ("women") Neuter Kinder ("children") ("offices") Mädchen Länder ("countries") Freundinnen Büros Töchter Nächte ("nights") ("friends") ("friends") ("daughters") ("girls") Guidelines for forming the plural It will later be possible to determine a number of rules as to which noun takes which plural ending. Forming the plural is by no means as simple as this in German.3.

Büro + "-s" = Büros. Sohn + "umlaut" + "-e" = Söhne. such as Nächte and Töchter! 2. some nouns remain the same in the plural: i. Other (mainly) masculine and neuter nouns add "-er" in the plural: i. Note that both the masculine and neuter forms are identical when the noun is the subject of the sentence. Grammar 3: The indefinite article Masculine Feminine ein Mann ("a man") eine Frau Neuter ein Kind ("a woman") ("a child") . although there are not as many of them as there are in English.e.e.e. The grammatical term for this is the indefinite article.e. Some of them add an "-e": i. Tag + "-e" = Tage.e. and that the gender of a noun affects the form of the definite article. Masculine and neuter nouns • • • • • • Masculine and neuter nouns form their plural in a number of ways. The different forms of the German indefinite article are listed below for each gender. Mädchen (singular and plural).e.5 Indefinite articles and "kein" Indefinite articles In the last chapter we discovered that German nouns have genders.e. Others add "-er" and also add an "umlaut" to the vowel: i. Mann + "umlaut" + "-er" = Männer. Others add an "-e" and also add an "umlaut" to the vowel: i. Yet take care: some feminine nouns also form their plurals in other ways. Or: Engländerin + "-nen" = Engländerinnen. Freundin + "-nen" = Freundinnen. Some nouns add "-s" in the plural. To make matters more complicated. and they tend to be words imported from other languages: i. This is also true of the German equivalents of "a" and "an" as in "a man" and "an occupation". 3. Kind + "-er" = Kinder.• i.

as the table below displays: Grammar 4: Plural of the definite article Singular der Mann die Frau ("the man") Plural die Männer ("the men") die Frauen die Kinder ("the women") ("the children") ("the woman") das Kind ("the child") Just as in English. the plural of "ein Sohn" is "Söhne". The word "kein" The simple translation of the German word "kein" is "no" as in Müslüm Can's statement: "Ich habe keine Kinder" (= I have no children). However "kein" is also used to translate "not a". Thus you could either . The literal translation "nicht ein" should be avoided. regardless of gender. the indefinite article disappears in the plural in German.ein Freund ("a friend") ein Sohn ("a son") ein Tag ("a day") eine Freundin ("a friend") eine Tochter ("a daughter") eine Nacht ("a night") ein Büro ("an office") ein Mädchen ("a girl") ein Land ("a country") The plural of definite and indefinite articles The definite article of a plural noun is always "die". So just as the plural of "a son" in English is "sons".

The dog is playing a different role in each of the two sentences. we speak of the dog being the object of the sentence. We also say that it is in the nominative case. the dog. In the second sentence. In this instance. But "kein" is used most often to describe the objects of sentences and takes quite different endings.being liked by the cat.e. In this instance. "kein" behaves just like the indefinite article "ein": Grammar 5: The word "kein" Masculine Feminine Neuter kein Mann ("no man") kein Tag ("no day") keine Frau ("no woman") keine Nacht ("no night") kein Kind ("no child") kein Land ("no country") Plural keine Eltern ("no parents") keine Länder ("no countries") But these are only the endings for "kein" when it is the subject of a sentence i. . In the first sentence. We will discover what t3.6 The accusative case Subject Compare 1) 2) the The The two dog cat and following likes likes object English sentences: the cat. As far as endings are concerned. in a sentence such as "No child was unhappy". it is carrying out the action of the verb liking the cat. we speak of the dog being the subject of the sentence.translate "Ich habe keine Kinder" as "I don't have any children" or "I haven't got any children". the dog is on the receiving end of the action . We also say that it is in the accusative case.

") 2) Die Katze mag den Hund.g. "ich heiße Michael". ("The dog likes the cat. carrying out the action of the verb .") As the table below indicates however.Der Hund mag die Katze Subject and object in German The majority of sentences which we have examined so far involve nouns in the nominative case. In the English sentences which we have considered above. But with the arrival of verbs such as "haben" (= "to have") which take a direct object. The definite article can be written differently depending on whether the noun to which it refers is in the nominative or the accusative case. we need to acquaint ourselves with the accusative case. "Wie alt bist du?". the nouns "the dog" and "the cat" are written the same regardless of whether the noun is the subject or the object of the sentence.namely when we are referring to a singular masculine noun: Grammar 6: The definite article Nominative Accusative Masculine der Mann Feminine die Frau Neuter Plural das Kind die Eltern den Mann die Frau das Kind die Eltern .e. Look closely at the definite articles in the German equivalents of the two sentences concerning the dog and the cat: 1) Der Hund mag die Katze. ("The cat likes the dog. This is not the case in German. the definite article only has a different form in the accusative case in this specific instance .

"kein" negates a noun. ("A dog doesn't like a cat. the negative "kein" declines in exactly the same way as "ein" in the accusative: 1) Ein Hund mag keine Katze. ("A dog likes a cat.") 2) Eine Katze mag keinen Hund. ("A cat likes a dog.The accusative of the indefinite article The same phenomenon came be observed when the indefinite article is used: 1) Ein Hund mag eine Katze. ("A cat doesn't like a dog. So the opposite of "Ich habe ein Kind" is not "Ich habe nicht ein Kind" but "Ich habe kein Kind".") Grammar 8: Declension of "kein" Nominative Accusative Masculine kein Mann keinen Mann kein Kind keine Eltern Feminine keine Frau keine Frau Neuter Plural kein Kind keine Eltern Remember in particular that while "nicht" negates a verb (or an adjective or adverb). .") Grammar 7: The indefinite article Nominative Accusative Masculine ein Mann Feminine eine Frau Neuter ein Kind einen Mann eine Frau ein Kind The accusative of "kein" Logically enough.") 2) Eine Katze mag einen Hund.

We have already met some of them in the German equivalent of these questions "Wie ist Ihr Name?" or "Wie ist sein Name?".) Ihr His Her Its Our sein ihr sein unser Your euer (plural) Ihr Their Her Its ihr ihr sein Once again. such as "your" and "his" in "What is your name?" or "What is his name?". The full list of possessive adjectives is as follows: Grammar 9: Nominative of possessive adjectives Masculine Feminine Neuter Plural My mein meine deine Ihre seine ihre seine unsere eure Ihre ihre ihre seine mein dein Ihr sein ihr sein unser euer Ihr ihr ihr sein meine deine Ihre seine ihre seine unsere eure Ihre ihre ihre seine Your dein (sing.hese are in the next section 3.7 Possessive adjectives Possessive adjectives are those adjectives which refer to ownership.) Ihren His Her Its seinen ihren seinen . we find that the endings on all possessive adjectives change when they are in the accusative. We require a second table to explain these fully: Grammar 10: Accusative of possessive adjectives Masculine Feminine Neuter Plural My meinen meine deine Ihre seine ihre seine mein dein Ihr sein ihr sein meine deine Ihre seine ihre seine Your deinen (sing.

"your children" translates as "eure Kinder". and "your cat" is "eure Katze".for example the stag night (der Junggesellenabschied) during which the groom celebrates his last few hours of freedom by drinking himself into an alcoholic stupor with his friends. preferably together as this shows that they are willing to work as a team in bad times as well as good. The bride (die Braut) and groom (der Bräutigam) then clear up the pieces with a broom (see below). Some of them will be familiar to us . When an ending is added to "euer". can prove difficult. and one that incorporates a large number of traditions.wedding guests and other friends bring ceramic dishes (but no glass. which means "your" when you are addressing more than one person informally. . The capital letter is crucial here! 2) The spelling of the various forms of euer. 3. as this brings bad luck!) and smash them on the ground to ward off evil spirits.Our unseren unsere eure Ihre ihre ihre seine unser euer Ihr ihr ihr sein unsere eure Ihre ihre ihre seine Your euren (plural) Ihren Their Her Its ihren ihren seinen Grammatical points 1) Be very careful to distinguish between Ihr (= "your" (polite)) and ihr (= "their. So whilst "your child" is "euer Kind". a party held at the bride's house on the eve of the wedding that literally translates as "an evening of making noise".9 German Families The wedding (die Hochzeit) A German wedding (die Hochzeit) is as lavish an occasion as it is in Britain. the second "-e-" of the stem disappears. And this is precisely what happens . her"). Less familiar however is der Polterabend.

As these locations invariably include local hostelries. In other rural areas. the bride is "kidnapped" before the marriage by friends and family and the groom has to search strategic locations to find her. In some rural areas. A traditional German wedding German wedding celebrations (die Hochzeitsfeier) vary from region to region and from town to region. whereas the groom carries grain for good luck and wealth. Rice is thrown in the air as the happy couple leave the church and instead of the bride's bouquet. Both the bride and the groom wear simple gold bands that are very different to the diamond-encrusted wedding rings that are often found in Britain. the groom will buy drinks for any acquaintances that he might meet on his journey. the first task of the bride and groom on leaving the . The bride often carries salt and bread as an omen for good harvest.Sweeping up after a Polterabend Other differences to note are that German married couples wear their wedding ring (der Ehering) on their right hand. it is her veil that is passed on to the female guest who is next in line for marriage. In parts of North Germany the newlyweds return to their house to find that the doors have been barricaded shut and that all the furniture has been placed on the roof! Their first task as a a married couple is thus to rescue their furniture and get into their house without any outside help.

Between 1972 and 1990. or 2.9 out of 1000 Germans had been part of a marriage that ended in divorce. where the number of marriages dropped by over 50 per cent between 1990 and 1993. The decline in the number of marriages is particularly pronounced in the former GDR. it seems hardly surprising that an increasing number of Germans forsake the additional chuch ceremony (die kirchliche Trauung) and make do with a simple civil ceremony (die zivile Trauung) at a registry office (das Standesamt). to 963.9 per thousand inhabitants. Many .. marriage (die Ehe) no longer holds such a central place in German society as it used to. The money thus saved can then be spent on on the honeymoon (die Flitterwochen).000. Firstly.000 marriages in Germany in 1993 compared to 690. die Partnerin) in a so-called Lebenspartnerschaft (partnership for life). a relationship that is now recognised and protected by civil law. In the new German states and in the eastern part of Berlin. And by 1999 there were 2.1 million unmarried (unverheiratet) German couples living together which meant that one couple in ten did not have a marriage certificate.7 percent of all households.408 divorces being registered in the year 2000.000 marriages in 1960. To marry or not to marry? As in other European countries. more marriages now end in divorce (die Ehescheidung) than ever before. By 1990 this figure had more than doubled to 1. This civil ceremony is required by law. In 1960. Secondly. the number of such households increased sevenfold. Not very practical if you're wearing a wedding dress or a tuxedo. More and more couples are choosing instead to live as nonmarried partners (der Partner. There were only 442. One in three marriages now ends in divorce. Given the strenuous and expensive nature of a traditional wedding. This can be explained partially by the dramatic social changes in the former East Germany brought about by reunification and partially by the fact that under socialism many couples had chosen to marry primarily in order to secure better accommodation and child-care benefits.church is to saw through a log using a 2-man log saw. with a record 194. fewer Germans choose to get married in the first place.. only 0. living together outside of marriage is very common: one couple in eight have no marriage certificate.

The aim was to redress the traditional role division between the sexes whereby mothers typically stayed at home to look after their children. The slump in the birth-rate has been particularly pronounced after reunification in the east of Germany where a combination of high female unemployment and the dismantling of the GDR's child-care system has dissuaded women from starting a family.1 for men and 25. The one area in which marriage is on the increase is in the gay and lesbian communities.3. For about 25 years the birth rate has been one third below the level necessary to replenish the population. In 1992 the average age at first marriage had risen to 29. with the Turkish subgroup being the largest in terms of family size. same-sex couples can marry in registry offices and enjoy all the rights that . By 1990 this figure had declined to 2. which had an adverse effect on their professional lives.0.1 for women in the new Länder. A German mother and child The Federal Government has become increasingly aware of the need to promote family life and as of 1 January 2001 new legislation governing child-raising benefit came into force. To have children or not to have children? Equally noticeable is the falling birth rate in Germany with more and more couples choosing not to have children. In the early 1990s.of these are young couples who are choosing to live together before getting married. From August 2001 onwards.5 for women in the old Länder. entitling both parents to apply for child-raising leave simultaneously and spend up to 30 hours a week in part-time work. compared with 27.0 for men and 26. In 1950 the average number of persons in German households was 3. only foreign families were regularly having two or more children.

3. For each noun. have the normal endings which we have already seen. this will not be given with the plural of nouns. both gender and plural will be given. followed by pets on the next page. you should assume that verbs are regular . Foreign partners of German gays and lesbians are also now allowed to join them in Germany.e. We will start off with the family.i. such that you can describe your own family and pets to your friends: Vocabulary 4: Male family members Singular husband partner father stepfather father-in-law grandfather brother stepbrother twin brother brother-inlaw son der Mann der Partner der Lebenspartner der Vater der Stiefvater der Schwiegervater der Großvater der Opa der Bruder der Stiefbruder der Zwillingsbruder der Schwager der Sohn Plural Männer Partner Lebenspartner Väter Stiefväter Schwiegerväter Großväter Opas Brüder Stiefbrüder Zwillingsbrüder Schwäger Söhne .heterosexual spouses have in areas such as inheritance and health insurance. . as well as any peculiarities which the noun possesses. Unless otherwise indicated. vocabulary sections will appear at the end of each chapter to tie in with the topics which have been discussed.10 Vocabulary: The Family From now on. As the definite article of all plurals is "die".

grandson stepson son-in-law uncle nephew cousin (male) der Enkel der Enkelsohn der Stiefsohn der Schwiegersohn der Onkel der Neffe der Cousin Enkel Enkelsöhne Stiefsöhne Schwiegersöhne Onkel Neffen Cousins Test yourself! You can test yourself on your knowledge of this vocabulary by clicking on the bar below: A German family in Hamburg Vocabulary 5: Female family members Singular wife partner mother stepmother mother-in-law grandmother sister stepsister die Frau die Partnerin die Lebenspartnerin die Mutter die Stiefmutter die Schwiegermutter die Großmutter die Oma die Schwester Plural Frauen Partnerinnen Lebenspartnerinnen Mütter Stiefmütter Schwiegermütter Großmütter Omas Schwestern die Stiefschwester Stiefschwestern .

twin sister sister-in-law daughter stepdaughter daughter-inlaw aunt niece cousin (female) die Zwillingsschwestern Zwillingsschwester die Schwägerin die Tochter die Stieftochter die Schwiegertochter die Tante die Nichte die Cousine Schwägerinnen Töchter Enkelinnen Stieftöchter Schwiegertöchter Tanten Nichten Cousinen granddaughter die Enkelin Test yourself! You can test yourself on your knowledge of this vocabulary by clicking on the bar below: Cousins Vocabulary 6: Neuter family members Singular girl child grandchild stepchild only child das Mädchen das Kind das Enkelkind das Stiefkind das Einzelkind Plural Mädchen Kinder Enkelkinder Stiefkinder Einzelkinder .

Vocabulary 7: Plural family members English brothers and sisters parents grandparents step-parents parents-in-law twins German Geschwister Eltern Großeltern Stiefeltern Schwiegereltern Zwillinge Vocabulary 8: Family phrases Haben Sie Familie? Do you have any family? Haben Sie Kinder? Do you have any children? ich habe einen Sohn I have a son ich habe keine Kinder I have no children Hast du Geschwister? Do you have any brothers or sisters? ich habe eine Stiefschwester I have a step-sister ich habe keine Geschwister I have no brothers or sisters ich bin Einzelkind .

and whether they like each other! Vocabulary 9: Pets (masculine) Singular bird canary cockerel cuckoo dog donkey fish frog goldfish hamster parrot wolf der Vogel der Kanarienvogel der Hahn der Kuckuck der Hund der Esel der Fisch der Frosch der Goldfisch der Hamster der Papagei der Wolf budgerigar der Wellensittich Plural Vögel Wellensittiche Kanarienvögel Hähne Kuckucke Hunde Esel Fische Frösche Goldfische Hamster Papageien Wölfe .I am an only child ich bin verheiratet I am married ich wohne mit einem Partner zusammen ich wohne mit einer Partnerin zusammen I live with my partner ich bin geschieden I am divorced ich bin ledig I'm not married ich bin verwitwet I am widowed 3. Practise saying which pets you have. whether you like them.11 Vocabulary: Pets Here is a list of pets found in Britain and Germany along with some birds and farm animals.

Vocabulary 10: Pets (feminine) Singular bee cat cow crow goat goose hen lizard mouse owl pigeon rat snake tortoise die Biene die Katze die Kuh die Krähe die Ziege die Gans die Henne die Eidechse die Maus die Eule die Taube die Ratte die Schlange die Schildkröte Plural Bienen Katzen Kühe Krähen Ziegen Gänse Hennen Eidechsen Mäuse Eulen Tauben Ratten Schlangen Schildkröten .

Vocabulary 11: Pets (neuter) Singular animal chick guineapig horse insect pet rabbit sheep das Tier das Küken das Meerschweinchen das Pferd das Insekt das Haustier das Kaninchen das Schaf Plural Tiere Küken Meerschweinchen Pferde Insekten Haustiere Kaninchen Schafe Test yourself! You can test yourself on your knowledge of this vocabulary by clicking on the bar below: Did you know: • • • that "das Haustier" (= "pet") literally means "house animal"? that "das Meerschweinchen" (= "guinea-pig") literally means "little sea pig"? that "das Nilpferd" (= "hippopotamus") literally means "Nile horse"? Vocabulary 12: Pet phrases Haben Sie ein Haustier? Do you have a pet? Haben Sie Haustiere? Do you have any pets? .

are taken everywhere. for example.ich habe keine Haustiere I have no pets ich habe einen Hund I have a dog ich habe keinen Hund I don't have a dog wir haben drei Katzen we have three cats 3. In Vienna. This is in part because German dogs have traditionally been well-behaved . certain areas are clearly designated as either "dog-free" (das Hundeverbot). as this is prevalent in many areas among wildlife. on the other hand.they all have to be registered and vaccinated against rabies (die Tollwut). Some parks or streets have a special area designated as a "Hundeklo" (= "doggy loo")."We belong together". and this is respected in Germany.there is a law which says they have to be kept in. There are however several initiatives to help owners. And it is immediately apparent to the outsider that Germans adore their dogs.12 Germans and their dogs Man(n)'s best friend? The poster states proudly: "Wir gehören zusammen!" . and bins are also provided. "dog zones" (die Hundezone) or "a suitable place to walk your dogs" (der Hundeauslaufplatz). You will also see signs in every park pointing out the strict "pooper-scooper" laws and designating special areas for dogs to swim in so that the rest is more pleasant for human bathers. It's not unusual to see them in restaurants with their own water bowls supplied by the proprietor. Dogs. . In popular dog-walking areas you will see vending machines (der Automat) for bags and scoops to get rid of mess. Cats are much less visible in German cities .

These include stricter implementation of "der Leinenzwang". and even in restaurants and clubs. John Hooper. Since then a number of measures have been introduced on a regional level to control how dangerous dogs are kept. but ambling along pavements. and the "der Maulkorbzwang". The tragic death of a six-year-old Turkish boy in Hamburg at the hands of a pit-bull terrier and a Staffordshire terrier in July 2000 finally provoked the authorities into action after a growing number of children had been attacked by fighting dogs (der Kampfhund) ("fighting dogs"). regardless of breed. American Staffordshire terriers. Even members of the most popular breed. Berlin correspondent for The Guardian wrote: "There are more dogs in Berlin than in most of Germany's other big cities put together. bull terriers or Tosa Inu must have them sterilised. not just rambling in the parks. And in Berlin.Dog ownership however is one area in which the Germans are inclined to turn a blind eye to the regulations. the pit bull terrier. And an astonishing number can be found off their leads. the requirement that certain dogs are kept on a leash in public. lounging in cafes and bars. that is. anyone owning pitbulls. These measure have proved unpopular . dobermans and other dogs that look as if they eat a poodle or two for breakfast. the requirement that certain dogs are muzzled." Until the start of the new millennium. Some commentators have gone as far as to suggest that all dogs. roam about unhindered. along with rottweilers. should be kept on a leash when out in public.

and they are digging their heels in for a long battle with the authorities. You will then be required to answer 12 multiple-choice questions about the passage. Visit a "virtual reality" zoo in Zurich. Web Links Web sites on pets and other animals German Visit this site to find out animal sounds which German animal goes "wau! wau!". mähh". Watch the adverts for Whiskas cat food on their homepage! A good thematic link-list of homepages devoted to German animals from Birgit Bachmann.with dog owners. In German only. . and which goes "mähh. click on the "Start Reading" button on the top right hand side of the page and read the passage which opens up for you. Visit the homepages of zoos in German-speaking countries. German Embassy Dangerous Dogs Capital letters The German Embassy in London explains what legislation exists concerning dangerous dogs in Germany and why. John Hooper of The Guardian reports on his experiences of being a dog owner in Berlin. Reading comprehension It's time to test how much you can understand of a written passage of German! In the following exercise. German zoos Virtual Zoo Whiskas cat food Die Tier-Seite Exercises 1.

Having arrived at Berlin's new central station.and in time? (Hint: You might wish to have either a German-English dictionary and/or our glossary of vocabulary open in separate windows to help you.) Click on the bar below to get started. he then takes the local train to Zoo Station. whom we first met in Chapter 2. We shall also learn about numbers and how to use them in different contexts. 4.There is one additional difficulty however. the Hauptbahnhof. Overview In this chapter you will learn: • • • • • • • how to order food in a restaurant how to pay for food in a restaurant how to count from 21 to 99 in German how to express prices in German a range of vocabulary for food and drink about eating out in Germany about how the introduction of the Euro is proceeding in Germany Grammar Grammatically. arrives in Berlin for the first time by train. You only have five minutes to read the passage before it disappears! Can you answer the questions correctly .1 Café Einstein The Scotsman Ken McNaught. He gets off and then walks for a while along the famous Kurfürstendamm street in the city centre before stopping off at the Café Einstein near the Kaiser-WilhelmGedächtniskirche (= Kaiser Wilhelm memorial church) for . this chapter concentrates on asking different types of questions.

click here for a panoramic view of Berlin's famous Kurfürstendamm thoroughfare at night taken by Helmut Koelbach. click here for a live webcam of the Kurfürstendamm and the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche. Listen to his conversation with the waitress in the café by clicking either here or on the sound icon at the top of the previous paragraph. Requires JavaScript.something to eat and drink. (Tip: you can rotate your view of the church through 360° by placing your mouse in the picture!) click here to find the location of Ken McNaught on a map of Berlin. Eine Tasse oder ein Kännchen? Eine Tasse. Conversation 1: Im Café Einstein Kellnerin Ken McNaught Kellnerin Ken McNaught Kellnerin Ken Guten Morgen! Guten Morgen! Bitte schön? Was bekommen Sie? Kaffee. bitte. . You can also: • • • • • click here for a panoramic view of Berlin's Zoo station taken by Helmut Koelbach. click here for a panoramic view of the Kaiser-WilhelmGedächtniskirche.

McNaught Kellnerin Ken McNaught Kellnerin Ken McNaught Kellnerin Mit Milch und Zucker? Mit Milch aber ohne Zucker. Möchten Sie sonst noch etwas? Und ein Stück Sachertorte. (Sie kommt zurück.) Bitte sehr. Ein Stück Sachertorte, eine Tasse Kaffee. Vielen Dank. Ich möchte gleich zahlen. Das macht neun Euro fünfzig, bitte. Zehn Euro. Bitte schön. Stimmt so. Ich danke Ihnen. Auf Wiedersehen! Auf Wiedersehen!

Ken McNaught Kellnerin Ken McNaught Kellnerin Ken McNaught Kellnerin

Café Einstein Glossary

das Café im Café die Kellnerin bitte schön

The café in the café waitress This is essentially an invitation to speak. We might translate it by "What can I get you?" "Bitte" normally means "please". "What can I get you?" This is one


bekommen Sie? der Kaffee die Tasse das Kännchen

of many ways of asking in German what a customer wants. coffee cup This is the word for a "pot" of coffee. In some cafés you might be required to order a pot of coffee rather than a cup. milk sugar without

die Milch der Zucker ohne

mit Milch aber "With milk but without sugar." As ohne Zucker in English, the definite article is omitted in this context. Möchten Sie sonst noch etwas? das Stück die Sachertorte "Would you like anything else?" The waitress naturally uses the polite form "Sie" to address her customers. a piece This is a variety of chocolate gateau, invented in 1832 by Metternich's Viennese cook, Franz Sacher. See the picture at the top of the page or click here for a recipe. This is a what the waitress says when she puts your food in front of you. We might possibly translate it by "There you go". (She comes back) This means "Many thanks". It expresses more gratefulness than the word "danke". immediately I would like to pay immediately "It comes to...". Literally: "This makes..." nine euros fifty (cents)

bitte sehr

(Sie kommt zurück) vielen Dank

gleich ich möchte gleich zahlen das macht... neun Euro fünfzig

bitte schön

Ken gives the waitress the money and thus uses the same phrase as she had done when she brought him the food. Literally: "(That's) correct like that". We would translate it by saying "Keep the change!" Literally: "I thank you." It is simply another variant of "Thanks!".

stimmt so

ich danke Ihnen

4.2 At the snack bar
At the same time as Ken McNaught is drinking coffee at the restaurant, elsewhere in Berlin the two friends Sonja Malchow and Verena Offenberg are ordering something to eat at a typical Berlin Imbiss - an open stall or kiosk which you will see on street corners in German-speaking countries - outside the underground station (der U-Bahnhof) in Pankow. Listen to their conversation with the snack bar owner Herr Aksoy by clicking either here or on the sound icon at the top of the previous paragraph. You can also click here to find the location of the snack bar and Pankow underground station on a map of Berlin.

Conversation 2: Der Imbiss

Herr Aksoy Sonja Malchow Herr Aksoy

Guten Morgen! Guten Morgen! Bitte schön? Was wünschen

Möchten Sie auch ein Brötchen? Ja. bitte. Mit Ketschup und Pommes? Mit Ketschup aber ohne Pommes.) Danke sehr! Und sechs Euro und fünfzig zurück. Zehn Euro. (She hands over a ten euro note. Guten Appetit! Danke schön! Verena Offenberg Glossary der Imbiss This is one of several words for a . bitte. Gerne. Ein Euro siebzig. Eine große oder eine kleine? Eine kleine. bitte. Ein Euro achtzig. Und ich nehme eine Currywurst. bitte. bitte.Sie? Sonja Malchow Herr Aksoy Sonja Malchow Herr Aksoy Sonja Malchow Herr Aksoy Sonja Malchow Herr Aksoy Verena Offenberg Herr Aksoy Verena Offenberg Herr Aksoy Ich möchte gerne eine Bratwurst.

From the French "Pommes frites". it does not need to be repeated when you are describing it by means of an adjective..? conversation in the first section. . "I would like. You might also see the words "der Schnellimbiss". please Unsurprisingly.. Herr Aksoy chooses to ask more specifically.or a small (sausage)?" If the noun has already been mentioned immediately beforehand. "die Imbissbude" or "die Würstchenbude" ("sausage stand").?" See the auch.. "."snack bar". you are just as likely to hear "Pommes".. das Brötchen "A bread roll".. was wünschen Sie? "What would you like?" Having started with "Bitte schön".. All nouns ending in "-chen" are neuter .including "das Mädchen".. The German reputation for eating sausages is certainly borne out by the choice offered at their snack bars! a big (sausage).. this means "ketchup". Until the recent German spelling reform. "Chips". eine Bratwurst eine große.. the conventional request for information. Usually served with a roll. it was spelled the same way as the English word... The suffix "-chen" .oder eine kleine? bitte der Ketschup Pommes möchten Sie "Would you like.. While "Pommes frites" is the version listed in German dictionaries... "Ich möchte... Note that anything that you ask for will be in the accusative case! "A (fried) sausage"." on its own could be also be used here without "gerne".. ich möchte gerne."..

as here . We might translate it by "Can I help you?". gerne Another word that is difficult to translate. "Gerne" on its own means "happily" or "willingly". and many of those that do are .i. "eine Currywurst.imported from other languages.means "little" or "small". "One euro seventy (cents)". bitte" (= "a curried sausage please"). gerne" translates as a more enthusiastic version of "Yes please!" "One euro eighty (cents)". • • When you are asking somebody for something. .3 Please and thank you The use of "bitte" As the dialogues in this section have shown. The combination "Ja. Very few German words begin with "c". but here we would translate it as "in return". "Bitte" is used by a waiter or someone offering a service to attract the customer's attention. ein Euro achtzig eine Currywurst ein Euro siebzig danke sehr zurück Guten Appetit! 4.e. the German word bitte and its variants bitte schön and bitte sehr can have a variety of meanings. you would use "bitte" to translate "please" . "Enjoy your food!" or "bon appetit". "A curried sausage". "many thanks" (literally: "thanks very") Literally "back".

it can be impolite not to follow a "danke" with a "bitte". This acknowledgement of thanks is not simply a matter of politeness . You would expect the person to whom you were handing over the object to respond by saying "danke" (see below). which is the German equivalent of "thanks" or "thank you". since to a German speaker you may appear to be refusing their thanks. "Bitte" then means "You're welcome!" or "Don't mention it!". . If so. "Danke" is often followed by either "schön" or "sehr".• You would also say "bitte" when handing things over to somebody. but do require some form of "bitte (schön/sehr)". then the "bitte" response will be similarly modified. "Bitte" is also used as a response to "danke"."vielen Dank" (= many thanks) and "ich danke Ihnen/dir" (= I thank you) have no specific predetermined answer. In this context it would mean "Here you are". The following table lists the pattern of responses: Vocabulary 1: "Danke" and "bitte" Thanks! danke danke schön danke sehr vielen Dank You're welcome! bitte bitte schön bitte sehr any of the above ich danke Ihnen/dir any of the above The other forms of saying thanks .

changing the currency proved to be a huge logistical undertaking which in itself is estimated to have cost 2. shops and supermarkets started to list prices in both marks and euros from 1999 onwards: . The old German currency. bank transfers and credit cards. As you can imagine.4 billion Marks.6 billion notes from the D-Mark era needed to be taken out of circulation.5 billion coins and 2. whilst at the same time 15. not least because Germans had been well prepared for it by a Government information campaign.that is.94 thousand million Marks were still in circulation. The German Bundesbank believes however that much of this is money that has either been lost or destroyed. Yet the changeover passed smoothly. Nevertheless.5 billion euro banknotes needed to be introduced to shops. although the euro notes and coins were only introduced into circulation at the start of 2002. die Deutsche Mark (DM) or die D-Mark (but NOT "Deutschmark"!) was still legal tender until 28 February 2002. banks and cashpoints (see picture). Should you still have any German marks or pfennigs (the smaller denomination of the old currency). after which point der Euro (€ or EUR) became the only acceptable currency in Germany. Postage stamps issued in D-Marks ceased to be legally valid in June 2002. it was calculated in May 2005 that coins to the value of 3. euro notes and coins were introduced into Germany. Furthermore. it is still possible to exchange them at German banks. by means of cheques. 28.5 billion coins and 2. amidst firework displays across the European mainland. travellers' cheques.4. As the pictures below indicate.4 German currency: The Euro The changeover from the Deutsche Mark At the stroke of midnight on 1 January 2002. Thus many German employees could choose whether they wished to be paid in euros or marks.72 thousand million Deutschmarks and notes to the value of 3. Austria and 10 other member states of the European Union. the new currency could be used from 1 January 1999 onwards in the form of "written money" .

when the currency was worth that little that people needed to transport it in wheelbarrows if they needed to buy something substantial. Finance Minister Hans Eichel called for a consumer boycott of businesses which had tried to cash in on the currency changeover. banishing the traumatic memories of hyper-inflation in the 1920's. The mark had been a symbol of fifty years of German post-War reliability and economic revival. German suspicions about the euro have been increased by popular fears that manufacturers and shopkeepers took advantage of the introduction of the new currency to raise prices on the sly. no other major currency. The price of everyday times staples such as bread and restaurant meals have been particularly affected.which itself lost about two-thirds of its value against the Deutsche Mark since 1958. many Germans nevertheless bade farewell to the mark with great reluctance. the German government was initially slow to react to popular discontent. including the Japanese yen or the Swiss franc. Since the mark became fully convertible in 1958. with price rises of 100% being registered on some consumer staples. second only to the United States dollar .But although the advantages of a single European currency have been widely accepted. Having been overcharged for a sandwich in May 2002 however. Consumer groups and tabloid newspapers have rechristened the new currency "der Teuro". which is a play on the German word for expensive "teuer". It had become the second-largest currency component of global monetary reserves. had been stronger. Consumer affairs minister Renate Künast has also convened a meeting with retail and trade groups to push for "a return to fair prices." But the overall impression remains that the changeover to the . As the alleged price increases were not reflected in the rate of inflation.

Jan.7903 Austrian schillings (ATS) 40.3399 Luxembourg francs (LUF) 2. the euro has had an irrevocably fixed conversion rate against the national currencies participating in the Eurozone.482 Portuguese escudos (PTE) 166. as one euro is thus roughly equal to two German marks. compared to 43% in a similar survey in 2004.55957 French francs (FRF) 340.94573 Finnish markka (FIM) 6. An almost equal number of Germans (44%) thought however that the Euro "weakens the country". an opinion poll showed that 46% of Germans agreed with the statement: "The Euro is good for us and makes us stronger for the future". 1. 2002: The new euro What's a euro worth? Since January 1 1999.3399 Belgian francs (BEF) 5. the value of one euro has been fixed at 1.386 Spanish pesetas (ESP) .new currency has been much more successful than Eurosceptics had predicted. From that date onwards. This has proved useful in helping German citizens to come to terms with the new currency.787564 Irish pounds (IEP) 1936. One euro is also worth: • • • • • • • • • • • 13.750 Greek drachma (GRD) 0.27 Italian lira (ITL) 40. Yet by the end of 2007. In 2006. a survey by the Dresdner Bank found that only 36% of Germans were in favour of the euro.20371 Dutch guilders (NLG) 200.95583 German marks.

Vocabulary 3: Die Währung (currency) der Euro (euro) das Pfund (pound) der Franken (Swiss franc) der Yen (Japanese yen) die Mark die D-Mark die deutsche Mark (German mark) der Cent (cent) der Dollar (dollar) der Rappen (Swiss centime) der Rubel (Russian rouble) Note therefore that while there are three different ways of expressing the former German currency. "two pounds fifty" etc. Many international currencies .4. the currency is always in the singular in prices regardless of the amount . Similarly. "three euros and eighty cents". In German prices however. the word "Cent" is only written in the singular in . zwei Pfund fünfzig.drei Euro achtzig. but others are not.which only existed in English! Test yourself! You can test yourself on your knowledge of currency vocabulary by clicking on the bar below: How to express prices When we express prices in English. the currency itself will be in the plural if the number is greater than one e. they start with a capital letter.g.such as der Euro and der Cent are masculine.6 Expressing prices and currencies Currencies As currencies are proper nouns in German. none of them were the word "Deutschmark" . although one euro consists of a hundred cents.

etc. as in the list of drinks prices on the board in the picture below. So "€ 2.. Thus € 3.i.99 €) means "three euros and ninety-nine cents".German prices . When a price ends in a round number of euros. In the dialogues in this section we have discovered that larger numbers are required when buying things in Germany. A list of German numbers from twenty-one to ninety-nine is given below. Note that in written German.not "two point six three five euros"! 4.e. Click here or on the sound icon at the top of the page to listen to them: Vocabulary 4: Numbers 21-99 21 einundzwanzig 22 zweiundzwanzig 23 dreiundzwanzig 24 vierundzwanzig 25 fünfundzwanzig 26 sechsundzwanzig 27 siebenundzwanzig 28 achtundzwanzig 29 neunundzwanzig 30 dreißig 31 einunddreißig 32 zweiunddreißig 40 vierzig 45 fünfundvierzig 50 fünfzig 54 vierundfünfzig 60 sechzig 70 siebzig 80 achtzig 90 neunzig . as the price tags below display.99 (or 3. price tickets can either display a comma or a decimal point. it is most commonly written as € 5. zwölf Euro (und) zehn Cent (= twelve euros and ten cents).7 Numbers: 21-99 In Chapter 3 we learned how to count from one to twenty in German. Whereas English uses a comma to split up large numbers.635" means "two thousand six hundred and thirty-five euros" . The reverse is also true. In shops and supermarkets however. a comma is invariably used in prices where we would put a decimal point in English. German uses a decimal point.

3. except on cheques. There are no endings on "ein" here as it appears in the middle of another number. Whereas we say "twenty-four". "achtundsiebzig" whereas we would write "seventy-eight".20 is written as ein Euro zwanzig as "der Euro" is a masculine noun. German says "vierundzwanzig" (= four and twenty) like the "four-and-twenty blackbirds" in the nursery rhyme "Sing a Song of Sixpence". Note too that German numbers greater than twelve are seldom written as words.21 is likewise written as einundzwanzig Euro einundzwanzig. When they are written out.DM 1. For example: . 2. English-speakers often get such similar pairs of numbers the wrong way round.Test yourself! You can test yourself on your knowledge of this vocabulary by clicking on the bar below: Explanation 1.i.€ 21. "fifty" etc. each number is one continuous word .€ 1.00 is written as einundzwanzig Euro.e. .20 however is written as eine Mark zwanzig as "die Mark" is a feminine noun. 4. The biggest difficulty which English-speakers experience with German numbers is that cardinal numbers above twenty appear to be formed "backwards". . There is one exception to this however: the German for "thirty" is "dreißig".€ 21. Be very careful of endings when using numbers containing "ein(e)". The German equivalent of the suffix "-ty" (as in "forty". This takes a lot of getting used to! Note in particular the difference between 45 and 54 in the list above.) is "-zig". . .

bitte. . Kellner Margarete Schäfer Kellner Margarete Schäfer Kellner Mit Milch oder mit Zitrone? Und ich nehme ein Glas Wein. Wein? Anna Müller Vielen Dank. Kaffee. Kakao. Kellner Anna Müller Ich möchte gerne ein Kännchen Tee. Nehmen Sie Platz! Guten Tag. Ist hier noch frei? Mann Nein. Cola. bitte. Anna Müller Entschuldigen Sie bitte.8 Im Restaurant (1) Anna Müller and Margarete Schäfer. Conversation 3: Im Restaurant (1) Anna Müller Guten Tag. natürlich. Sie wünschen bitte? Tee. Ist hier noch frei? Frau Ja. hier ist leider besetzt. Ja. Nein. have met up at the "Café Lit" restaurant for a meal. But first they need to find a seat! Click on the sound graphic at the top of this paragraph or here to listen to their conversation. ein Bier! Ein großes oder ein kleines? Ein kleines.4. Limonade. the two Berlin neighbours whom we saw meeting for the first time in an earlier section. Möchten Sie auch die Anna Müller Mit Zitrone.

"Is this seat taken?" Literally: "Is here still free?" im Restaurant in the restaurant Ist hier noch frei? entschuldigen "Excuse me please". Inside the Café Lit Glossary das Restaurant This is written as in English but it is pronounced quite differently. The word "besetzt" is also used to translate "engaged" both for a phone-line and a toilet cubicle.Speisekarte? Anna Müller Ja. of course. Both this phrase and "Entschuldigen Sie. this seat is taken". leider hier ist leider besetzt unfortunately "Unfortunately. waiter natürlich nehmen Sie Platz der Kellner . this means that the subject and the verb are reversed such that the verb is the first element in the sentence. bitte. This is a wordfor-word translation of the English. bitte" are requests / instructions. This is the Sie bitte most polite way of gaining somebody's attention. with the indefinite article being omitted. Gerne. naturally "Take a seat". In the "Sie" form.

. the noun does not need to be repeated. The German for "beer" is one of the few words for alcoholic beverages which is neuter. das Glas ein Glas Wein das Bier ein großes oder ein kleines? Möchten Sie auch.? die Speisekarte .. but note that this is feminine in German.. If you want milk rather than lemon you will need to ask for "Tee mit Milch". You might also hear it die Limonade der Wein ein Kännchen Tee die Milch die Zitrone gleich und ich nehme. Tea is usually drunk in Germanspeaking countries with lemon and from a glass. Would you also like.. glass This means "a glass of wine".der Tee der Kakao die (Coca-)Cola tea cocoa No need to translate this one.. Here too there is no word for "of" in German after the noun of quantity. not masculine..? "The menu". immediately and I'll have. As in the earlier section. As with the glass of wine. the word for "of" is omitted in German after a noun of quantity. milk This means "lemon".. "A pot of tea". Literally: "The food card".. Most alcoholic drinks turn out to be masculine. It is "das Coke" however! lemonade "wine". We will discuss adjective endings in a later section.. "a large (beer) or a small (beer)".

Click on the sound graphic at the top of this paragraph or here to listen to their conversation to the waiter (der Kellner). . bitte. Gerne. Und für Sie? Anna Müller Ich möchte Schweineschnitzel mit Pommes frites.9 Im Restaurant (2) Having now found somewhere to sit and ordered a drink. Anna Müller Ein Glas Weißwein.. Anna Müller Danke. Conversation 4: Im Restaurant (2) Kellner Margarete Schäfer Kellner Margarete Schäfer Kellner Haben Sie schon gewählt? Ja.reduced to "die Karte". Anna Müller and Margarete Schäfer are now ready to order their meal. Was hätten Sie gern? Ich hätte gern Hähnchen mit Kartoffeln und Salat. Kellner Margarete Schäfer Kellner Ja. 4. wir möchten bestellen.. bitte. Und zu trinken? Und noch ein Bier! Bitte sehr.

escalope of pork". When spoken by a waiter. This is another example of those compound nouns which are so common in German.as in English the infinitive of the verb "bestellen" comes at the end of the clause.Inside the Café Lit Glossary schon Haben Sie schon gewählt? Wir möchten bestellen already Have you already chosen? "We would like to order. As this noun is another one which ends in "-chen". it means "Of course!" or "You're welcome!" And for you? pig. as here. Remember that the gender of the compound noun will always be determined by das Hähnchen die Kartoffel der Salat gerne Und für Sie? das Schwein das Schnitzel das Schweineschnitzel . "Chicken". we know that it must be neuter. potato salad. chop "Pork cutlet. lettuce So far we have seen this word when a customer is saying what he or she would like. pork cutlet." Note that .

the last element - here "das Schnitzel". Und zu trinken? And to drink? ein Glas Weißwein "A glass of white wine". "Weißwein" is another compound noun, coming from "weiß", the adjective for "white" and "der Wein" (= wine). noch noch ein Bier still; yet "Another beer". You would say "eine" for a feminine noun. So "another cup of tea" would be "Noch eine Tasse Tee". Yet another nuance of "bitte"! Although the waiter isn't actually bringing them anything, he still says "bitte sehr" to confirm the transaction.

bitte sehr

4.10 Settling the bill
Having had their main course, the waiter comes round to see if everything is in order. Anna decides that they don't want a dessert, but would like the bill instead. Click on the sound graphic at the top of this paragraph or here to listen to their conversation to the waiter (der Kellner).

Conversation 5: Settling the bill


So, hat es Ihnen geschmeckt?

Margarete Ausgezeichnet! Schäfer Anna Müller Kellner Sehr gut! Möchten Sie noch etwas bestellen? Darf ich Ihnen einen Nachtisch bringen? Wir haben heute Erdbeeren mit Vanilleeis und Sahne. Für mich nicht.

Anna Müller

Margarete Nein, danke, die Rechnung, Schäfer bitte. Kellner Anna Müller Kellner Ja, zusammen oder getrennt? Zusammen, bitte. Ja, kleinen Moment bitte. Das macht siebenundzwanzig Euro sechzig, bitte. Dreißig. Stimmt so. Ja, danke schön.

Anna Müller Kellner

Inside the Café Lit Glossary


This approximates to "well then". It never means the English "so" as in "a logical conclusion".

Hat es Ihnen geschmeckt? ausgezeichnet

"Did you enjoy your meal?". The literal meaning is: "Did it taste to you?" "Excellent!" But then Margarete has had two beers by now... very good "Something else". This always has the sense of an additional something rather than "something different". "dessert". It literally means "after-table". "may I...?" Just like "Ich möchte...", it is always followed by the infinitive of the verb which it governs. "May I bring you a dessert?". And it is "einen Nachtisch", because the masculine noun "der Nachtisch" is the object of the sentence. today "strawberry". As we have seen, many feminine nouns end in "-e", and form a plural in "-en". "vanilla ice-cream". This is another German compound noun, coming from "die Vanille" (= "vanilla") and "das Eis" (= "ice cream"). As "das Eis" is the final element of the compound noun, it determines the gender. cream "Not for me". Note that the German word for "not" "nicht" - follows the noun to which it refers.

sehr gut noch etwas

der Nachtisch darf ich...?

darf ich Ihnen einen Nachtisch bringen?

heute die Erdbeere

das Vanilleeis

die Sahne für mich nicht

die Rechnung, bitte (Could we have) the bill,

. ".apple juice .der Apfelsaft .. together with some other words for food and drink which you may find useful...or separately?" The waiter is thus asking them whether they wish to pay together or separately.". please". "It comes to. you should assume that any verbs given are regular (in the present tense at least).orange juice ketchup salad sugar tea German der Kuchen (plural .11 Vocabulary ..please? zusammen.in most cases as in English .and so only the singular form will be given.... siebenundzwanzig Euro sechzig dreißig 4. Literally: "A little moment please"... bitte das macht. Vocabulary 5: Food and drink (masc.. Literally: "This makes.Food and drink Here is a summary of the vocabulary covered in this section..der Orangensaft der Ketschup der Salat der Zucker der Tee . Many of these nouns are not used in the plural ..) English cake cocoa coffee dessert juice . . Unless otherwise indicated.oder getrennt? together. Twenty-seven euros sixty Thirty kleinen Moment..Kuchen) der Kakao der Kaffee der Nachtisch der Saft ..". "One moment.

red wine .die Bratwurst die Erdbeere Kartoffeln Würste Currywürste .der Rotwein .white wine der Wein .) Singular bill coca-cola cream cup gâteau lemon lemonade menu milk potato sachertorte sausage .die Currywurst .fried sausage strawberry die Rechnung die (Coca-)Cola die Sahne die Tasse die Torte die Zitrone die Limonade Plural Rechnungen Tassen Torten Zitronen die Speisekarte Speisekarten die Milch die Kartoffel die Wurst .der Weißwein Vocabulary 6: Food and drink (fem.wine .curried sausage .Bratwürste Erdbeeren die Sachertorte Sachertorten .

pork .pork cutlet pot das Stück das Schwein Stücke Schweine .Vocabulary 7: Food and drink (neuter) Singular beer café chicken glass das Bier bread roll das Brötchen das Café das Hähnchen das Glas Plural Brötchen Cafés Hähnchen Gläser ice cream das Eis .das Vanilleeis ice cream piece pig.das Schweineschnitzel Schweineschnitzel das Kännchen Kännchen Restaurants restaurant das Restaurant Vocabulary 8: Food and drink (verbs) .vanilla .

English to bringen to choose to get. receive to order German bringen wählen bekommen bestellen Vocabulary 9: Food and drink (phrases) ist hier noch frei? Is this seat taken? hier ist besetzt this seat is taken nehmen Sie Platz! Take a seat! haben Sie schon gewählt? Have you already chosen? was bekommen Sie? What would you like? was möchten Sie? What would you like? möchten Sie sonst noch etwas? Would you like anything else? möchten Sie noch etwas bestellen? Would you like anything else? und zu trinken? And to drink? ich möchte.. I would like.. ...

.. bitte! Just one moment please! zusammen oder getrennt? are you paying together or separately? das macht 20 Euro It comes to 20 euros 4. What have become popular and very common are take-aways on the American pattern. I would like.although Indian cuisine has yet to catch on to the extent that it has in Great Britain. bitte The bill.. Turkish and Chinese restaurants ..12 Eating out in Germany Town and country The choice of restaurants in Germany is broad and varied. guten Appetit! Bon appetit! hat es Ihnen geschmeckt? Did you enjoy your meal? ich möchte gleich zahlen I would like to pay now die Rechnung. please kleinen Moment. .ich hätte gerne. delivering pizzas. Chinese and Mexican food to your home. This is particularly the case in large cities where you can find the cuisine of most countries of the world represented. Greek. Even smaller towns however will have their fair share of Italian.

They are rarely interested in making friends. "ein Gasthaus" or "eine Gaststube". Paying and tipping Credit cards are nearly always accepted in large restaurants nowadays but in more humble establishments hard cash is still the usual means of payment. Take a look at the menu boards which are hung outside all German restaurants to see what they are offering! What you will not find in either town or country is an equivalent for the British "caff" or "greasy spoon". it is always advisable to ask before you order. Cafés in Germanspeaking countries are in general more upmarket. bitte? (= "May I order. with tablecloths. This is common practice on the European mainland. You should also not be surprised if another party asks if they may sit at your table. And do not be offended if the people in that party do not engage in conversation with you. . carpets and upholstered chairs. just looking for a seat in a crowded restaurant. If you want to order or pay you should make a sign with your hand (but do not click your fingers!) and say something along the lines of Kann ich bestellen. please"?). These forms of address are out of date nowadays however and should be avoided. Restaurant etiquette When entering a restaurant in a German-speaking country. It used to be the case that you would address the waiter as Herr Ober and waitresses as Fräulein. a combination of pub. restaurant and café which invariably offers local delicacies.In the country you are more likely to come across "eine Gaststätte". it is customary for the diner to find their own seat rather than waiting to be designated one. If you want to pay by credit card.

American fast food (hamburgers.a fried or grilled sausage . It is nevertheless usual to leave a tip in restaurants.Paying for the meal is almost always done at your table with the waitress or waiter who served you. If the bill comes to more than 10 euros you should allow 5% for a tip. If a bill is under 10 euros you round the sum up to the next full mark or next but one . You can also get chips there (Pommes. Pommes frites).i. Waiters and waitresses are accustomed to receiving their tip as part of the bill. In Austria. not by looking for the tip on the table after you have left. The preference for coffee over tea in mainland Europe continues unabated. because a 15% gratuity is included in the prices as a service fee (in addition to a 15% value added tax). der Schnellimbiss) on each street corner. € 11. The traditional German kiosk and snack bar is however under attack from a variety of overseas food outlets.a token tip of a few cents will have the same effect. rising to 10% in a more upmarket establishment. pancakes et al. you may come across "Steckerlfisch" . sausage stalls (die Würstchenbude) or snack bars (der Imbiss. It is not necessary to tip 15%.e. Snacks One of the most striking aspects about a German city is the number of kiosks (der Kiosk). and many will offer a very good ground coffee.or curried sausage (Currywurst). but don't be alarmed if you are offered mayonnaise along with tomato sauce to put on them! Such kiosks and snack bars serve beer as well as soft drinks.) being the most visible . Leaving the tip on the table after you have paid is unknown in Germany. but most Germans drink it with lemon or just black. Iced tea is becoming increasingly popular as a summertime beverage. They are most wellknown for offering Bratwurst . This is done by rounding the bill up. Only if you are really dissatisfied with the quality of service that you have received should you not leave any tip at all . cafés and other places where your bill is brought to your table. You may be offered tea in a café or restaurant.50 would be rounded up to € 12.grilled fish on a stick. If you let them give you your full change (and then leave a tip on the table) they will think that you are unhappy with their service.

he meets a passer-by (ein Passant) and asks for directions. Ken McNaught now needs to find his way around in the big city. but he is having trouble finding it.is in the road called Harbigstrasse which in the Charlottenburg region of Berlin. Whilst in Position 1 on our diagram. Listen to his conversation with the passer-by by clicking either here or on the sound icon at the top of the previous paragraph.1 Where is the Hotel Ravenna? (1) Having arrived in Berlin for his conference. Conversation 1: Wo ist das Hotel Ravenna? Ken Entschuldigen Sie bitte. You can also click here to find the location of Ken McNaught on a map of Berlin. McNaught Passant Ja bitte? Ken Wo finde ich das Hotel Ravenna? McNaught . But you will also find Turkish kebabs. 5. Italian pizzas and French crêpes doing a roaring trade on street corners. He knows that his hotel . standing on the corner of two roads called Waldschulallee and Messedamm.competitor.the "Hotel Ravenna" (marked by an "X" in our diagram) .

.Passant Ach ja... und die nächste Straße rechts..die Harbigstraße. how may I help?" "Where can I find. ich weiß.? the hotel Excuse me please? Another nuance of "bitte"! This time it approximates to "Yes.. Da gehen Sie bitte fünfhundert Meter geradeaus.. bitte the passer-by where is. Viel Spaß in Berlin! Glossary der Passant wo ist.. Ken Danke schön! McNaught Passant Bitte schön..?" The word for "can" is omitted in the wo finde ich.. dann die nächste rechts . Ken Wie bitte? McNaught Passant Immer geradeaus.? ..? das Hotel entschuldigen Sie bitte Ja. und dann finden Sie das Hotel Ravenna auf der rechten Seite.

ich weiß da gehen Sie bitte... Never be embarrassed about asking somebody to repeat directions.." Later in the conversation the passer-by will say "immer geradeaus". The literal meaning is "Much fun!" die Straße rechts die nächste Straße rechts dann finden Sie. Our old friend "bitte" is added for an extra touch of politeness. I know "You go. auf der rechten Seite Wie bitte? die nächste rechts viel Spaß .. In practice this is interchangeable with "rechts". particularly when you are new to a language! The passer-by does not repeat "Straße" here. five hundred metres "Straight on. das Hotel Ravenna ach ja. it is clear that the adjective refers back to the feminine noun "street"." There is no word here for "will" ..German construction. road on the right the next road on the right "Then you will find... As we saw in the previous section. street. "on the right-hand side". which equates to "keep straight on" (literally "always straight on"). "Enjoy yourself!". oh yes. This means "Pardon me?"..the present tense can be used in German to translate the immediate future.". fünfhundert Meter geradeaus The names of most German hotels follow the word for "hotel".

Herr Loss Die zweite Straße rechts? . who is also looking for the Hotel Ravenna (which is again marked by an "X" in our diagram). Das ist die Jaffeestraße. Passant Richtig.2 Where is the Hotel Ravenna? (2) Our passer-by is beginning to curse his luck! No sooner has he given instructions to Ken McNaught and moved along the Messedamm to Position 2 on our diagram than he bumps into Herr Loss. Nehmen Sie dann die erste Straße rechts. You can also click here to find the location of the Hotel Ravenna on a map of Berlin. Listen to his conversation with the passer-by by clicking either here or on the sound icon at the top of the previous paragraph. Passant Ja? Wie komme ich zum Hotel Ravenna? Hier geradeaus? Passant Gehen Sie hier geradeaus.5. Conversation 2: Wo ist das Hotel Ravenna? Herr Loss Herr Loss Herr Loss Entschuldigen Sie bitte.

..? "How do I come to. Herr Loss Vielen Dank. genau..?" Literally: ich. zum Hotel ". Herr Loss Die Harbigstraße? Passant Ja.. The Ravenna word "zum" is short for "zu dem".. hier straight on here ..Passant Nein. Auf Wiedersehen! Passant Auf Wiedersehen! Glossary Wie komme "How do I get to. Dann nehmen Sie bitte die erste Straße links. Und das Hotel Ravenna ist auf der linken Seite. ganz richtig. the word for "do" is omitted in the German construction. It is only used for masculine and neuter nouns . Das ist die Harbigstraße.to the Hotel Ravenna". nicht die zweite sondern die erste Straße rechts! Herr Loss Die erste Straße rechts? Passant Ja...?" As there is only one present tense in German..for feminine nouns you would say "zur".. .

"Quite right"..geradeaus richtig Nehmen Sie. die erste Straße links. sondern. Listen to his conversation with the passer-by by clicking either here or on the sound icon at the top of the previous paragraph.." In this case.. station etc.. die erste Straße rechts die zweite Straße rechts nicht. In this conversation we find Herr McNaught asking a female passer-by (eine Passantin) where the nearest telephone box and the nearest chemist's are. The word "ganz" is quite tricky in that it can mean "quite" or very according to context. . The vocabulary and skills are slightly different when we have to find the nearest shop....? On the previous two pages...... correct "Take.".... the first road on the left. but... the first road on the right the second road on the right "Not . ganz richtig right. auf der linken Seite 5. "nicht" precedes the noun to which it refers. we have practised how to get directions to specific places.3 Where is the nearest. Note again the inverted word order of the polite request..

McNaught Passantin Ja? Ken Wo ist denn hier die nächste McNaught Telefonzelle? Passantin Die nächste Telefonzelle ist gleich hier um die Ecke. McNaught Passantin Sie gehen geradeaus und dann die vierte Straße links. nur fünf Minuten zu Fuß. In der Nähe vom Brandenburger Tor. Ken Ist das weit? McNaught Passantin Nein. An der Ampel rechts und dann stehen Sie direkt vor der Apotheke.Conversation 3: Telefonzelle und Apotheke Ken Entschuldigen Sie bitte. . Ken Und wo gibt es hier eine McNaught Apotheke? Passantin Eine Apotheke oder eine Drogerie? Ken Eine Apotheke.

and can be omitted.. When the preposition "von" is followed by the definite article.?" is the basic phrase used to translate "Where is. telephone box "The nearest telephone box..e.. and "von der" for a feminine noun. right here around the corner "Near.?". die Telefonzelle die nächste Telefonzelle gleich hier um die Ecke in der Nähe von das "The Brandenburg Gate" is Brandenburger probably Berlin's most famous Tor landmark." The endings of the adjective "nächst-" depend on the gender of the noun.". this becomes "vom" for a masculine or neuter noun. The additional words "denn hier" merely add a sense of conversational emphasis.. whether it is in the nominative or the accusative case. and the case ...Glossary die Passantin Wo ist denn hier.i. just here.? passer-by (female) "Wo ist.. We have included a picture of it in the top left-hand ..

This is a singular noun in German.. whereas it is in the nominative case for the "Wo ist.. Wo gibt es hier. the thing which you are looking for is in the accusative case. direkt vor der Apotheke Ist das weit? nur fünf Minuten zu five minutes by foot Fuß 5.". Is it far? only die Apotheke die Drogerie die Ampel an der Ampel rechts dann stehen Sie..? Another variant of "Where is... but it is one that merely sells toothpaste.. "Then you stand. "Right at the traffic lights"..corner of each page in this chapter.?" Note that in this construction.4 Studying the map ." construction. We would also translate this as a "chemist's shop". The verb "stehen" is regular in the present tense. toilet articles and cough sweets.. This is a "chemist's shop" which is staffed by qualified pharmacists who can prescribe medication for straightforward ailments without a doctor's prescription. directly "In front of the chemists shop". "Traffic lights". This of course affects the endings on each noun... The definite article "die" becomes "der" after the preposition "an" which takes the dative case. This is another preposition which takes the dative case.

that is on the corner of Singerstraße and Neue Blumenstraße in what used to be East Berlin. Ken Und wo ist die Schillingstraße? McNaught Passant Sie gehen geradeaus und dann links. He asks a passer-by where he can find the post-office and the underground station. hier ganz in der Nähe. In der Schillingstraße etwa zwei Minuten von hier. Nehmen Sie die erste Straße rechts und dann finden Sie das Postamt auf der linken Seite.Ken McNaught is now positioned "Ecke Singerstraße Neue Blumenstraße". Listen to his conversation with the passer-by by clicking either here or on the sound icon at the top of the first paragraph. McNaught Passant Ja bitte? Ken Gibt es hier in der Nähe ein McNaught Postamt? Passant Ja.the post-office has the yellow logo of the German post office Deutsche Post with its trademark horn. Und wo gibt es hier einen U- Ken . Conversation 4: Das Postamt und der U-Bahnhof Ken Entschuldigen Sie bitte. Both of these are shown on the map below . and the "U-Bahnhof" (= "underground station") is indicated by the blue letter "U".

approximately. und dann stehen Sie direkt davor. Ken Welcher U-Bahnhof ist das? McNaught Passant U-Bahnhof Schillingstraße. approximately two minutes from here "Where is an underground station round here?" As "es gibt" takes the accusative case. Glossary hier in der Nähe near here hier ganz in der very near here Nähe das Postamt "Post office". which also means the post office as an institution. an der Polizeiwache vorbei. die nächste rechts und dann gehen Sie ganz einfach die Schillingstraße entlang.McNaught Bahnhof? Passant Da gehen Sie bitte circa sechshundert Meter geradeaus. the masculine noun "ein U-Bahnhof" becomes "einen U-Bahnhof". about six hundred metres etwa zwei Minuten von hier Wo gibt es hier einen UBahnhof? circa sechshundert Meter . You will often hear the word "die Post" used for this.

ganz einfach die Schillingstraße entlang die Polizeiwache

quite simply "Along the Schillingstraße". The preposition "entlang" follows the noun to which it refers. "Police station". It is indicated on German maps by a green star on a white circular background. past the police station

an der Polizeiwache vorbei direkt davor Welcher UBahnhof ist das?

directly in front of it "Which underground station is that?" If the noun following "which" was a feminine noun, it would be "welche" and if it was a neuter noun, it would be "welches".

5.5 Prepositions
Prepositions which take the accusative case Prepositions are words such as "in", "on" and "over" which stand in front of a noun or pronoun to relate it to the rest of the sentence. In German, when these prepositions are used, the words for "the" (der/die/das) and "a" (ein) alter their endings depending on the case in which they are used. We are already familiar with the accusative case, and have explained how "der" changes into "den" in the accusative case, and "ein" changes into "einen". This same change from "der" to "den" also happens after certain prepositions - we say that these prepositions "take" the accusative case. Some of the more commonly used German prepositions are listed below:
Grammar 1: Accusative prepositions

Preposition durch

Example durch das Hotel

through the hotel entlang für um die Straße entlang along the street für den Mann for the man um die Ecke round the corner

The dative case Many prepositions however take a case which is new to us - the dative case. For the definite article, the dative case means that both the masculine "der" and the neuter "das" change into "dem", and the feminine "die" changes into "der". As regards to the indefinite article, the dative case means that both the masculine and the neuter "ein" change into "einem", whereas the feminine "eine" changes into "einer". Some of the most commonly used German prepositions that take the dative case are:
Grammar 2: Dative prepositions

Prep. Example an in von an der Ampel (at the traffic lights) in einem Restaurant (in a restaurant) 5 Minuten von der Apotheke (five minutes from the chemist's) vor dem Hotel (in front of the hotel) Wie komme ich zum Hotel? (How do I get to the hotel?)

vor zu

There is an additional difficulty however, in that some prepositions can either take the accusative or the dative case, depending on context. The prepositions "an", "in" and "vor" take the dative case when they are describing a fixed position, but

the accusative case when they are describing movement - "Er geht in das Hotel". We will look at this in more detail in a subsequent chapter. The prepositions "von" and "zu" on the other hand, always take the dative case.

5.6 The dative case and the articles
Definite article The endings for the definite article "der" in the dative case are as follows - singular endings only.
Grammar 3: Definite article in the dative case

Masculine Feminine Neuter Nominative der Mann die Frau Accusative den Mann die Frau Dative dem Mann der Frau das Kind das Kind dem Kind

Merging of prepositions with the definite article You will already have noted that certain prepositions tend to merge with the definite article - but never with the indefinite article. The following contracted forms are almost always preferred to the non-contracted forms:
Grammar 4: Dative prepositions



an + dem = am Ich bin am U-Bahnhof (I am at the underground station) in + dem = im von + dem = vom zu + dem = zum Wir sind im Café (We are in the café) Zehn Minuten vom Bahnhof (Ten minutes from the station) Wie komme ich zum Hotel? (How do I get to the hotel?)

einem Mann eine Frau ein Kind eine Frau ein Kind einer Frau einem Kind Possessive adjectives The endings for the possessive adjectives are as follows. This possessive loses the "-e-" of its stem when it adds endings. meine Frau meine Frau meiner Frau Neut. ein Mann Acc. mein Kind mein Kind meinem Kind The only exception to this rule is the possessive adjective "euer" (= your). Nom. Grammar 6: Possessive adjectives in the dative case Masc. euer Mann eure Frau . Neut. meinem Mann Fem. We have given "mein" as an example. but the others decline in the same way. Grammar 5: Indefinite article in the dative case Masculine Feminine Neuter Nom. meinen Mann Dat. einen Mann Dat. Fem.zu + der = zur Sie geht zur Bank (She goes to the bank) The indefinite article The endings for the indefinite article "ein" in the three cases which we have met so far are printed below. mein Mann Acc. euer Kind Nom. Grammar 7: The possessive "euer" in the dative case Masc. Note that "kein" also declines in the same way.

7 Adjectives When adjectives follow a noun When an adjective . when the waiter asks the diners in Chapter 4 whether they had enjoyed their meal . The endings the adjective adds depend on what sort of article is standing before it.Acc. The endings for an adjective which follows the definite article "der" are as follows: Grammar 8: Adjective endings after the definite article Masculine Feminine Neuter Nom.follows the verb "to be" as in the phrase "Ist es weit?" (= Is it far?) in one of the conversations in this chapter."Ausgezeichnet!" (= Excellent!) and "Sehr gut!" (= Very good!). there are also no endings. or in the question "Wie alt bist du?. dem guten Mann die gute Frau das gute Kind der guten Frau dem guten Kind The indefinite article "ein" . and what case it stands in. . When an adjective is given as a one word response to a question.or "describing word" ."Hat es Ihnen geschmeckt?" (= Did you enjoy your meal?). der gute Mann die gute Frau das gute Kind Acc. what its gender is.along with "kein" . eurem Mann eure Frau eurer Frau eurer Kind eurem Kind 5. euren Mann Dat. adjectives in this position do not have endings in German. den guten Mann Dat. Anna and Margarete reply with adjectives without endings .has the following endings. depending on the gender of the noun which follows it and the case that this noun is in. For example. Adjectives before a noun Adjectives standing in front of a noun add endings to show whether that noun is singular or plural.

it is the subject of the clause It is preceded by the definite article "die" .masculine.nominative. ihrem guten Mann ihre gute Frau ihrer guten Frau Examples To work out the endings on an adjective you need to know three things: • • • What is the gender of the noun . einem guten Mann eine gute Frau einer guten Frau Adjectives after possessive adjectives take exactly the same endings as those which follow the indefinite article: Grammar 10: Adjectives after possessive adjectives Masculine Feminine Neuter ihr gutes Kind ihr gutes Kind ihrem guten Kind Nom. accusative or dative? What type of article precedes the adjective . ihr guter Mann ihre gute Frau Acc."? Thus for the sentence "Wo ist die nächste Apotheke?". ihren guten Mann Dat.Grammar 9: Adjective endings after the indefinite article Masculine Feminine Neuter ein gutes Kind ein gutes Kind einem guten Kind Nom. feminine or accusative? What case is the noun in in this sentence .e.definite "ein" or indefinite "ein"? Or is it preceded by a possessive adjective "mein etc.i. einen guten Mann Dat. ein guter Mann eine gute Frau Acc. we know that the ending on the adjective is "-e" because: • • • "die Apotheke" is a feminine noun It is in the nominative case in the above sentence .

we know that the adjective ending is "-en" because: • • • "der U-Bahnhof" is a masculine noun It is in the accusative case in the sentence . "third" etc as ordinal numbers.And in the sentence "Wo gibt es hier den nächsten U-Bahnhof?". Grammar 11: Ordinal numbers 1-19 (def. article) der erste der zweite der dritte der vierte der fünfte der sechste der elfte der zwölfte der dreizehnte der vierzehnte der fünfzehnte der sechzehnte .i. "siebt-" (= "seventh") and "acht-" (= "eighth").8 Ordinal numbers Ordinal numbers from one to nineteen We refer to the English words "first". "second". The important thing to remember is that such numbers are adjectives. These are formed in German for the numbers one to nineteen by taking the number itself and adding "-t-" to the end. Here are the ordinal numbers from one to nineteen. "dritt-" (= "third"). They do so according to the rules which we established in the previous section. Four ordinals are irregular: "erst-" (= "first"). with the adjective endings for a masculine noun after a definite article. and must therefore take adjective endings when they precede a noun.e. it is the object of the clause It is preceded by the definite article "den" Test yourself on adjective endings Test your ability to add the correct endings to adjectives by taking 5.

For the purposes of the table below. imagine again that we are dealing with a masculine noun: Grammar 12: Ordinal numbers 1-19 (indef. article) ein erster ein zweiter ein dritter ein vierter ein fünfter ein sechster ein siebter ein achter ein neunter ein zehnter ein elfter ein zwölfter ein dreizehnter ein vierzehnter ein fünfzehnter ein sechzehnter ein siebzehnter ein achtzehnter ein neunzehnter Test yourself on ordinal numbers Test your knowledge of the larger ordinal numbers by taking this jumbled words exercise. Ordinal numbers from twenty upwards Ordinal numbers from twenty upwards are formed by adding "- .der siebte der achte der neunte der zehnte der siebzehnte der achtzehnte der neunzehnte When the ordinal number follows an indefinite article. the adjective endings must therefore change. Click on the bar below to get started.

forming an enclave within the German Democratic Republic) and . From the end of World War II until the reunification of Germany in 1990 the city was divided into two parts: West Berlin (a state of the Federal Republic of Germany.9 Berlin: Facts and figures A brief history Berlin was founded in the 13th Century and was originally a seat of the Hohenzollerns royal family. Click on the bar below to get started.st-" to the number itself. It was initially the capital of Brandenburg and then became capital of Prussia. 5. Adjective endings are then added in the usual way: Grammar 13: Ordinal numbers greater than 19 (def. Berlin was also the capital of Germany between 1871 and 1945. article) 20 der zwanzigste 22 der zweiundzwanzigste 23 der dreiundzwanzigste 24 der vierundzwanzigste 25 der fünfundzwanzigste 26 der sechsundzwanzigste 27 der siebenundzwanzigste 28 der achtundzwanzigste 29 der neunundzwanzigste 30 der dreißigste 31 der einunddreißigste 32 der zweiunddreißigste 40 der vierzigste 45 der fünfundvierzigste 50 der fünfzigste 54 der vierundfünfzigste 60 der sechzigste 70 der siebzigste 80 der achtzigste 90 der neunzigste Test yourself on ordinal numbers greater than 19 Test your knowledge of the larger ordinal numbers by taking this multiple choice exercise. which it remained until 1945.

and subsequently dismantled. It is a multicultural city. fulfils both federal state functions and municipal functions. The Berlin wall was opened in November 1989 after the collapse of the Communist regime in East Germany. with more than 430. Berlin is situated on the east-west axis from Paris to Warsaw/Moscow and on the north-south line from Stockholm to Prague. The new Berlin The new Berlin is defining itself as a bridge between East and West. West Berlin was successfully supplied by a large-scale Allied 'airlift' in 1949. It has been transformed from the symbol of European division to the place where East and West Europe meet. It once more became the capital of Germany after the reunification of October 3. Size and population Berlin currently has a population of 3. Lower rents for residential accommodation in the eastern boroughs and the greater supply of jobs in the western boroughs led to a new mixture of the population soon after unification. It is both a city and a federal state. and many people were killed or wounded while attempting to cross. The growing economy in Central and Eastern Europe finds a bridge to the western economy in Berlin. Despite being blockaded by the Communists. Berlin has an area of around 891 square kilometres . and later became capital of the German Democratic Republic).45 million inhabitants. A fortified wall separating the two sectors was erected in 1961 by the Communist authorities to curb the flow of refugees to the West. research and cultural institutions represent one of the invaluable strengths of the city.as large as . 1990 and the second half of the 1990's witnessed key government bodies relocating from Bonn to Berlin.East Berlin (the zone of the city that was Soviet-occupied at the end of the war. Companies with world-wide operations make use of the many institutions located in Berlin and the expertise that is concentrated here.000 people from 184 different nations living there. Vienna and Budapest. Berlin’s scientific.

1. Berlin Newspapers berlin. the government and parliament buildings are being built in the meander of the River Spree. Architects such as Helmut Jahn. Architecture In addition to the architecture of the 19th and 20th century.de Background 2: Berlin newspapers Berliner Kurier Berliner Morgenpost Berliner Zeitung Berlin News BZ Berlin Der Tagesspiegel taz.Berlin . the buildings of the Kulturforum on the southern edge of the Tiergarten and the modern office and shopping complex on Potsdamer Platz link the western city around the Kurfürstendamm with the eastern city in the historical centre of Berlin between the Brandenburg Gate and Alexanderplatz. Renzo Piano. Frank O’Gehry has designed a new building on Pariser Platz for the DG Bank and Aldo Rossi's residential complex in the Schützenstraße has also attracted positive comment. die Tageszeitung Die Welt . Hans Kollhoff and Richard Rogers have designed offices. centres and boroughs which are completely different in character. To the north of the Tiergarten. which has been redesigned by Norman Foster and now has a glass dome which is open to visitors. The outstanding example is the Reichstag.de Berlin-Info. shops and apartments in the restored Potsdamer Platz. Find out more about Berlin! Background 1: Berlin information portals Berlin Online Berlin 1 2. In the inner part of the city. Stuttgart and Frankfurt am Main put together – and unites a large number of urban districts.Munich. the new cityscape is dominated by buildings designed by top international architects.

Berlin Airlift An overview of the Berlin Airlift. Berlin Wall See the remains of the Berlin Wall in these panoramic pictures taken by Helmut Koelbach. In English. Mauermuseum .8 RBB Kulturradio Radio Eins 104. Find out more about the building and the fall of the Berlin Wall.Past and An overview of the history Present of the city of Berlin.3. Berlin Radio Stations Tip-Berlin Background 4: Berlin radio stations Berliner Rundfunk Inforadio Radio Berlin 88.6 RTL Berlin Web Links General Internet sites about Berlin Berlin . Berlin Listings Magazines Background 3: Berlin listings magazines Zitty 030 4. Potsdamer Platz Live pictures from a WebCam WebCam positioned at the newly redeveloped Potsdamer Platz in Berlin.

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